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City of Victoria | 2018-2022 | Mayor and council general discussion


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#10161 JimV

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 03:22 PM

 

 

I'm still thinking about running - and if I do, I do not intend to run as part of a slate as I do think the slates have created a dysfunctional environment. That said, I think it would be very useful to have a group that objectively evaluates candidates and their positions and shares their view of them to inform the electorate.  

I respect your opinion but I don’t agree with it.  The reason COV politics are dysfunctional is not because TV is a slate, but because it’s the wrong slate.

 

There are a lot of practical advantages to running a team - shared resources, coherent message, high visibility, etc.  Even more importantly, it presents a clear alternative to the voters.  With a large field of independent candidates all mouthing the same platitudes and hosting web sites full of vague pieties the noise overwhelms the signal.  In the end people vote on name recognition and we know where that leads.

 

Objective assessment of the candidates is really the job of the media.  Of course they are fiercely partisan at the federal and provincial levels and thus worse than useless.  At the municipal level the problem is almost reversed.  They tend to give everyone equal coverage which means Door Knob gets as much ink as a serious candidate.  If there were some kind of group like you envision it would just be accused of partisanship by other candidates.  I think endorsements by credible community organizations of an alternate slate would be more useful and effective.


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#10162 marks_28

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 04:10 PM

Apartments are great for single people or couples. Most families prefer a house. Replacing houses with apartments doesn't contribute to a diversified community. 

 

I thought I had read recently that the population of the CoV actually declined last year.

 

Apartments are good for single individuals and couples. They can also work for small families too. That being said, there are a lot of young families who will never be able to afford a home in the city, even though they would prefer one - but they could afford a townhome, or maybe a duplex. It isn’t just apartments or houses. Lots of options in the middle for families who couldn’t afford a SFD in this area. Personally, I’d rather live in a townhome near the city than a SFD out in Colwood or Langford. The MM policy could help similar families stay in the city.



#10163 Sparky

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 09:10 AM

Can you elaborate on this a bit? We have record numbers of people moving here and there are really two options for housing: densify or sprawl. Where would you house them? What would you tell young people who are looking to start a family here? Oh sorry, move somewhere else because we don't want apartments here? This is how cities die. 

Please don't get me wrong, there is space within the city borders that could be utilized better for housing than it is now. I am more concerned with the process and the ultimate outcome of this proposed "project" of rezoning EVERY single family lot in order to accommodate duplex, triplex, four-plex and six-plex housing without further community consultation. 

 

Process

 

Will there be a democratic process that would include current owners of single family dwellings before deciding the outcome? I am talking about a referendum not a public hearing where people shout their concerns and council decides the outcome. This project has the potential of affecting every owner of a single family dwelling in the city. It can be argued that current owners bought into a "zone" that suited their needs and lifestyle. Many may object to having their needs and lifestyle arbitrarily taken away from them.

 

Ultimate Outcome

 

Affordability. At least one of the instructions from council to staff have declared that half of "new units" be priced as follows

 

At least half the units in each building are affordable to very low to moderate income
households on either a rental or ownership basis depending on the tenure of the
building.

 

Another stipulation would be building code requirements that would affect affordability

 

Proposed new buildings meet the BC step code step 5 standard.

 

If the above criteria were to be enforced, then it may be doubtful that developments would be financially viable.

 

Parking

 

This topic is certainly a hot potato. The "I hate cars" lobbyists are in denial about this in my opinion. Increasing the population and expecting parking to take care of itself on the streets may be considered both naive and dangerous. 

 

 

So in summary yellow_baron, my concern is that I have watched this council make some very noninclusive decisions in the past that in my opinion do not benefit the population as a whole, but rather pander to identity politics that may not be as beneficial as the narrative suggests.

 

This is a HUGE proposed change to the residential structure of our city. It will have consequences both for the current residents and the wanna be newcomer. Victoria is the weather jewel of Canada. People from all over are drawn here. Demand will always exceed supply. Young families may not be able to afford to live here just like young families may not be able to afford to live in Beverly Hills. They most likely will have to start out in a more affordable location just like most of us did.

 

That's why I was asking Stephen what his thoughts were on the topic....especially when this project has the probability of sliding across the council table with an approved stamp on it BEFORE the next election.  


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#10164 Mike K.

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 09:18 AM

- At least half the units in each building are affordable to very low to moderate income

- Proposed new buildings meet the BC step code step 5 standard

These two things suggest this blanket zoning change will be political, as in optics focused, as it is virtually impossible for the market to provide “very low” income housing while building to the highest, most expensive and involved Step Code level. I don’t even know if you can build moderate-income housing where half the units are very low-to-moderate income homes at Step Code 5, unless you’re a government-backed non-profit housing agency. Meanwhile, we are seeing plans for Step Code 3 among housing agencies, but no project is currently pursuing Step 5, at least not a proposal that’s out in public.
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#10165 Sparky

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 09:37 AM

^ Check out Marko's Youtube channel for his take on those two topics.

 

You know Mike the building (or rebuilding) of a city takes a lot more that drawing some lines on a paper or typing some dreams into a power point document.

 

One must peal back the surface and look at the sub structure.

 

Did you know that every building that was installed with a fire hose on each floor has been ordered to have the fire hose removed?

That's right, there is not one building in the City of Victoria that is left with a fire hose. Some might of thought that might come in handy on occasion....you know life safety and all.

 

Do you know why? Lack of water pressure. Too many people hooked up to the water pipe. It was felt that the fire hose could not deliver enough water to put out the average fire so they didn't want people to be misled into thinking they could make a difference.

 

Before we start adding thousands of more toilets and showers willy nilly to the outskirts of Victoria, we might want to have a look at the size of the water pipe.


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#10166 Mike K.

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 09:49 AM

The folks in the outskirts will be first in line for that water!

And I remember those hoses. We don’t do that any more? Wild.

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#10167 marks_28

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 10:51 AM

- Proposed new buildings meet the BC step code step 5 standard

 

This is not a requirement. I asked this question during one of the open house sessions, and they confirmed this was not required, and agreed it would make the majority of projects not viable.



#10168 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 10:57 AM

On missing middle: there's policy that could work and could work effectively to strike a balance between increasing density and providing affordable housing. One idea I haven't seen discussed is conditional zoning - if a set of conditions are met (land size, type of ownership/tenure (ie. rental only for 30 years, or co-op ownership), design, neighbourhood density level, etc.) the project is approved. Perhaps the city has a dozens of missing middle plans for that are pre-approved (no custom designs). If the conditions aren't met, then it's the standard process that must be used. The blanket policy lacks adequate control to prevent wholesale abuse and misuse and is likely to lead to widescale escalation of property values caused by speculation.

 

What might be far more useful: looking at the process of building permits and approvals and inspections and seeking to reduce delays and expenses associated with property improvement and development. Particularly when there is a net gain in the number of housing units that will be available after the project is complete.  



#10169 Mike K.

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 11:25 AM

This is not a requirement. I asked this question during one of the open house sessions, and they confirmed this was not required, and agreed it would make the majority of projects not viable.

 

Can we get linked clarification on this? If SC5 is not required, that does change things, but are they asking for SC4, or SC3, or SC 1 or 2? Those are still expensive for small-scaled projects to undertake, especially if the housing is to be sold or rented to very low-to-moderate income earners.

 

The "very low income" component is going to look like council is doing something to provide low-income affordable housing, and its the industry that isn't responding like they should. But I don't know how you can build safe, to-code multi-unit housing for very low income earners without some form of government intervention, or a very clear subsidy component attributed to the other 2-3 units in the same building. But even if someone sets out to do that, lenders would not run to back such a project unless there is another form of lending security like government backing. There's just too much risk of not fulfilling debt obligations.


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#10170 spanky123

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 11:33 AM

What might be far more useful: looking at the process of building permits and approvals and inspections and seeking to reduce delays and expenses associated with property improvement and development. Particularly when there is a net gain in the number of housing units that will be available after the project is complete.  

 

If you are serious about increasing the availability of affordable housing there are simple solutions (although they will never be implemented).

 

1. If vacancy rates across Canada are below a certain threshold then limit immigration. Why bring in more people if you can't house the ones you already have?

2. Charge a single occupancy tax. If housing is so tight then why not require people to share? 


Edited by spanky123, 03 December 2021 - 11:34 AM.


#10171 spanky123

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 11:44 AM

The "very low income" component is going to look like council is doing something to provide low-income affordable housing, and its the industry that isn't responding like they should. But I don't know how you can build safe, to-code multi-unit housing for very low income earners without some form of government intervention, or a very clear subsidy component attributed to the other 2-3 units in the same building. But even if someone sets out to do that, lenders would not run to back such a project unless there is another form of lending security like government backing. There's just too much risk of not fulfilling debt obligations.

 

Does anyone know directly of a person who is living in one of these subsidized or 'affordable' units provided by a developer? All I hear is of anecdotal stories where the units seem to pretty much market rates to me even though someone may claim they are at a discount to 'market prices'. 


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#10172 Nparker

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 11:46 AM

1. If vacancy rates across Canada are below a certain threshold then limit immigration. Why bring in more people if you can't house the ones you already have?

2. Charge a single occupancy tax. If housing is so tight then why not require people to share? 

1. OK
2. NEVER! I'll fight to the death for my right not to have share my space with some mouth-breathing troglodyte. I prefer to be my own mouth-breathing troglodyte.


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#10173 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 11:49 AM

You will still have that right. You’d just pay a fee for the right.

#10174 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 11:51 AM

On missing middle: there's policy that could work and could work effectively to strike a balance between increasing density and providing affordable housing. One idea I haven't seen discussed is conditional zoning - if a set of conditions are met (land size, type of ownership/tenure (ie. rental only for 30 years, or co-op ownership), design, neighbourhood density level, etc.) the project is approved. Perhaps the city has a dozens of missing middle plans for that are pre-approved (no custom designs). If the conditions aren't met, then it's the standard process that must be used. The blanket policy lacks adequate control to prevent wholesale abuse and misuse and is likely to lead to widescale escalation of property values caused by speculation.

What might be far more useful: looking at the process of building permits and approvals and inspections and seeking to reduce delays and expenses associated with property improvement and development. Particularly when there is a net gain in the number of housing units that will be available after the project is complete.

Which I have already said on here 50 times.

Zone all properties on Douglas Fairfield Bay Quadra Shelbourne Gorge Fort Burnside Cook Hillside etc. Not properties on quiet residential streets.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 03 December 2021 - 11:53 AM.


#10175 Nparker

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 12:10 PM

You will still have that right. You’d just pay a fee for the right.

Then it's not really a right; it's an option.



#10176 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 12:12 PM

Then it's not really a right; it's an option.

 

Not all rights are also free.  You have the right to live in work where you please in the country, but you have to pay the bill to get there.

 

You have a right to vote, but you'll need to find your own way to the polling station.

 

You have a right to assemble, but you need to print your own flyers and pay the hall rental.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 03 December 2021 - 12:16 PM.


#10177 Nparker

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 12:28 PM

Take the "living single" payment out of my existing school taxes - a service for which I pay but will never use.

 

And while we're at it, I want a carbon tax credit for not having children, meaning my carbon footprint dies with me.


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#10178 Mike K.

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 12:35 PM

I’m sorry, but I have sensitive paperwork on my coffee table at all moments that I cannot store anywhere else except in view of all inhabitants of the house.
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#10179 kitty surprise

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 12:53 PM

I’m sorry, but I have sensitive paperwork on my coffee table at all moments that I cannot store anywhere else except in view of all inhabitants of the house.


We must all remember this loophole when the government comes knocking.
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#10180 tommy

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 11:29 PM

 

2. .... If housing is so tight then why not require people to share? 

more just for sure

 

https://www.youtube....__Z-Z_Ofs&t=84s


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