The developer hoping to bring 1,600 rental units to the heart of Victoria has signalled it may not be able to accommodate several requests city council wants tied to the project’s approval.
Following a public hearing in February, council paved the way for a final approval vote on Starlight Investment’s mixed-use Harris Green Village redevelopment and approved several items that would have to be included through a legal agreement.
The proposal looks to bring more commercial and public areas to one-and-a-half blocks bordered by Yates, View, Quadra and Cook streets, and could be given final approval at Thursday’s (April 6) council meeting.
While Starlight said it can provide several of the council requests, others could not be accommodated.
Noting the developer emphasized how Harris Green’s walkability and alternative transportation options were a large focus for the proposal, council called on Starlight to reduce the overall amount of parking that would be included for tenants. That ask wanted the project to limit the per-unit parking ratio to 0.34 across all three construction phases – totalling around 540 spaces – while allowing a ratio of 0.52 in phase one (1045 Yates St.).
Starlight can do the latter, but a memo prepared for council states the developer believes that level is below the current parking demand. It also countered the city’s request by proposing to provide the number of spaces currently required by the city’s zoning bylaw and renting any stalls not used by residents to the public.
The zoning bylaw requires rental buildings in the core area, which the development falls into, to have parking ratios ranging from 0.5 to one stall per unit, depending on the sizes of apartments.
“The applicant believes that leasing unused stalls to members of the public will help reduce on-street parking demand in the area,” the council memo said.
Council also wanted Starlight to provide all new tenants without cars with optional three-month bus passes in the first three years after each phase welcomed residents. The developer said it would offer “first residential leaseholders” in only the first phase with 100 bus tickets. The rationale behind using tickets instead of passes is they don’t expire and can be transferrable between occupants.
Starlight is also hoping council will bring its requested number of carshare vehicles and corresponding parking spaces down from 15 to nine. Starlight claimed demand wouldn’t warrant 15 cars after it spoke with its traffic consultant and carshare companies.
Aside from the large influx of rentals, the Harris Green Village proposal includes a half-acre park, several public plazas, a daycare and community space that will be rented to the city for free. The new commercial spaces will look to retain some of the current businesses, such as Market On Yates and London Drugs.
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