A Victoria developer and B.C. conservancy group are looking to guarantee the permanent protection of Abkhazi Garden with a proposal to transfer density rights off the garden site to a nearby property.
The 1964 Fairfield Rd. garden has been owned by The Land Conservancy of British Columbia since 2000, but is still zoned RK-11, which allows for multi-unit residential development. Aryze Developments is hoping to purchase the zoning and density rights from TLC and see it transferred to a property a couple blocks west at 1733-1737 Fairfield Rd., where it proposes creating a townhome and apartment building project.
Of the total transferred density, Aryze stated in a release, only 30 per cent would be used at the proposed building site while the value of the remaining 70 per cent would be converted into a donation to TLC rather than being used for further development on the new site.
Aryze said it hopes the move helps to preserve an important community space, while addressing the need for more diverse housing options in the Fairfield-Gonzales neighbourhood.
The company plans to submit a rezoning and development permit application to the City of Victoria to get the process moving.
The arrangement, which also requests that Abkhazi Garden receive an official heritage designation, must ultimately be approved by city council. Even with the hurdles to jump over, TLC executive director Cathy Armstrong looks forward to the potential for the plan to support community efforts to further protect the site and its legacy.
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