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UNDER CONSTRUCTION
200 Cook Street
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 200 Cook Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Urban core
Storeys: 5
200 Cook Street is a five-storey mixed-use rental apartment and ground floor commercial development in the Coo... (view full profile)
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[Cook St. Village] 200 Cook Street | Rentals, commercial | 5-storeys | Under construction


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#1141 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 08:37 PM

The only people who seem to be “hurt” by the change from condos to rentals are those who were interested in moving into 200 Cook Street as owner-occupiers. I recall watching the (very long) public hearing, and some of the support for the proposal came from people who currently rent but would like to buy into a condo project and occupy a unit. In fact, one of the people who spoke in favour of the condos was a tenant of Leonard Cole’s rental building at Southgate and Heywood; he was hoping to buy a condo and “stay in the neighbourhood.”

I don’t have any objections to the rentals coming to 200 Cook Street, and the tenants of the building will be a great addition to the neighbourhood. But I do wonder if at least some percentage of the tightness in the rental market is due to potential condo buyers choosing to “rent in place” for longer than expected due to being unable to find (or afford?) suitable housing that they can purchase...resulting in them staying in the rental market for longer than desired? In other words, would increasing the supply of new build condos free up some units in purpose-built rental housing?

Essencia Verde is the only significant condo development in Fairfield south of Richardson completed in the past decade that I’m aware of (setting aside townhouse-only projects like The Brownstone), so perhaps new condo developments like the one proposed for Cook and Pendergast can attract CSV renters who want to by whilst staying in the neighbourhood.

#1142 Torrontes

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 05:52 AM

CoV has placed legal covenants or Housing Agreements on many of the condo projects going through rezoning which prevent the strata from adopting bylaws that would restrict rentals. If this agreement isn't on title, then there's no restriction. This is what happened with that one on Fort (I think?) where staff didn't ask for this agreement, but then Council did right at the end of the process.

 

The Strata Property Act provides that strata corporations may have rental restriction bylaws that can restrict or prevent strata owners from renting their strata units, subject to certain process requirements. I understand that the CoV has lobbied the government in the past to eliminate this right, upon some unsubstantiated position that it makes more housing stock available. As the act was not changed (a political minefield for the Province), the City opted to try and enforce the "no rental restrictions" policy by forcing developers to enter into a covenant in that regard as a condition of re-zoning approvals. The City then registers notice of the negative covenant on title in an attempt to bind the strata corp and unit owners. I haven't taken a close look at the law, but I cannot see how such a covenant forms a legal interest in the land, and therefore may be unenforceable as a property right. It might be enforceable as a contractual obligation, but then what is the measure of damages? The CoV obviously relies on the fact that strata corporations and unit owners do not want to engage in a costly legal battle with the municipality, but at some point this over-reaching of authority will and should be challenged. The CoV should not do indirectly what they are not otherwise authorized to do directly.


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#1143 Mike K.

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 06:07 AM

Very good, thank you.


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#1144 Torrontes

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 07:30 AM

If someone wants to live on a property where only owner-occupiers may reside, such as a co-op or strata condo, then should they be prevented doing so by municipal policy? I submit that such a policy impinges upon a person's right to association, and freedom of association is a fundamental freedom protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Section 2. (d)). This right and freedom is subject to reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be reasonably justified in a free and democratic society, such as no discrimination on the basis of religion, but a requirement of ownership certainly does not fall into that category. It is the provincial legislature that controls property rights, and they have specifically provided for rental restrictions in the Strata Property Act. They have "occupied the field" from a constitutional law perspective. The CoV is way off base on this one.


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#1145 Jackerbie

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 07:34 AM

The Strata Property Act provides that strata corporations may have rental restriction bylaws that can restrict or prevent strata owners from renting their strata units, subject to certain process requirements. I understand that the CoV has lobbied the government in the past to eliminate this right, upon some unsubstantiated position that it makes more housing stock available. As the act was not changed (a political minefield for the Province), the City opted to try and enforce the "no rental restrictions" policy by forcing developers to enter into a covenant in that regard as a condition of re-zoning approvals. The City then registers notice of the negative covenant on title in an attempt to bind the strata corp and unit owners. I haven't taken a close look at the law, but I cannot see how such a covenant forms a legal interest in the land, and therefore may be unenforceable as a property right. It might be enforceable as a contractual obligation, but then what is the measure of damages? The CoV obviously relies on the fact that strata corporations and unit owners do not want to engage in a costly legal battle with the municipality, but at some point this over-reaching of authority will and should be challenged. The CoV should not do indirectly what they are not otherwise authorized to do directly.

 

The covenant is just one piece, there's also a Housing Agreement Bylaw. You can look at the one for Heywood here: https://www.victoria...986 Heywood.pdf

 

Housing Agreements are permitted by the Local Government Act.



#1146 Torrontes

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 07:54 AM

Look at the title of Section 483: "Housing agreements for affordable housing and special needs housing". This section was included in the LGA to address special situations, for example 200 Cook where the developer wanted to include rent restricted units, and was never intended to apply across the board for all condo developments within the municipality. The CoV is attempting to rely on section 483 to give them ostensible authority.



#1147 Nparker

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 08:03 AM

Over-stepping their authority is certainly nothing new for the current CoV government. :mad:



#1148 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 09:03 AM

I don’t have specific details, but the ground-floor commercial space has been leased to a licensed restaurant of some sort...
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#1149 MarkoJ

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 11:42 AM

I don’t have specific details, but the ground-floor commercial space has been leased to a licensed restaurant of some sort...

 

And all those that were against this project will be eating at this restaurant on a regular basis complaining about the height of the next proposal.


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#1150 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 10:42 AM

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#1151 Kungsberg

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 08:40 PM

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