Your thoughtful comments are appreciated.
The membership of the City of Victoria Heritage Advisory Committee draws upon various community stakeholders to advise on matters relating to the conservation of heritage resources. Among these is the Hallmark Society, local architects, community planners, historians and others with an interest in the preservation of historical buildings. I am sure the City would welcome additional applicants to sit upon this and other committees.
Within the area of the City known as 'Old Town", the Committee can also speak of the suitability of the design of new buildings as these must conform to the Design Guidelines; Old Town, Victoria, B.C. These can be viewed at "http://www.victoria.ca/common/pdfs/plnpln_hrtgd_final2.pdf#search="Design Guidelines Old town" .
It is easy to say that the proposed development meets the Guidelines in a general way (City of Victoria Planning Department) but the real question is: do they meet the intent? The Hallmark Heritage Society is of the opinion the design of the current proposal does not meet this minimal standard.
The Hallmark Heritage Society is in agreement with the Developer's proposal to rehabilitate the Gold Rush Warehouses and to provide access to to the foreshore, although there are some concerns regarding the parking lot entry on the south side of the building at 1314 Wharf Street.
On a general note, the Hallmark Heritage Society does not receive any funding from the City of Victoria. We are wholly dependent upon our membership and small, very small and occasional, grants from Gaming. The Society did not take any position regarding the replacement of the Johnson Street bridge as the preservation of municipal infrastructure is a difficult subject: Should we also preserve old roads, sidewalks, sewers? All infrastructure needs to be replaced as the City grows.
The Hallmark Heritage Society is not against high rise buildings or skyscrapers but we do feel that the have no place within Old Town or other areas with historical significance to how the City of Victoria came to exist.
I'll note that in '93 I took in a tour of the historic underground Paris sewers. And it was noted in the NJ thread that sidewalks (Waddington Alley) can be heritage.
The historic nature of the heritage bridge is undisputed and the Hallmark Society's decision to sit on their hands during this crisis is the blackest mark on their history.