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[James Bay] Crystal Court Motel site | Unknown plans

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#41 Barra

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 09:16 PM

Somebody asked about James Bay's concerns. They are:

This is a density bonus proposal in a residential neighbourhood. The City does not allow density bonusing anywhere except Downtown.

The tower is too high.

Lack of sufficient parking for the art gallery - however - after our initial meetings with them they have added 60 more spots.

Incompatible with heritage buildings/sites to the east, north and northwest.

TRAFFIC! - it is impossible to access this site by car unless you are driving eastbound on Belleville. The current driveway access - so close to an intersection - would never be allowed now, and initial response from one of the traffic planners was along the lines of - "Now way Jose!". We have concerns about impact on traffic during the construction period.

We like the sculpture court and we like that while initially it would only be accessible via the inside of the gallery, they have now made it open and included ramping so that it is accessible for wheelchair and scooter users .

They are trying to do too much on a very small site.

In my personal opinion, height in the downtown area should rise from the west to the east and up in all directions from the Empress - following the rise of the land. Following this approach, whatever is built on this site should be lower than the Queen Victoria Inn.
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#42 Holden West

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 09:46 PM

Let's face it-- eventually something will be built on this site, and it will be dense and it will draw traffic. This is a problem we will have to solve and I don't think it's fair to nix this proposal because of this challenge that has to be dealt with in any case. An art gallery or similar venue would likely draw less car traffic than if were all residential at 5:1 density. In fact, it may have been wiser for the JBNEA to demand no gallery parking--like the Vancouver art gallery. Word would get out that you shouldn't even TRY driving directly there--hit a parking lot instead and walk a couple blocks like they do in nearly every other art gallery in the world.

I think in that district it should be 19 storeys or a little under. Much less and it's bye bye art gallery.

This site is such a distant part of James Bay. I bet most JB'ers were surprised to learn it's part of their neighbourhood.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#43 Icebergalley

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 09:47 PM

This is a density bonus proposal in a residential neighbourhood. The City does not allow density bonusing anywhere except Downtown.


Without taking out a map of Residential Associations, I would have thought that the Queen Vic hotel and the Landmark,Helms, Glensheil, the Government Office Blocks, the Powerhouse and the RBCM and heritage precinct .. St. Ann's and the Humboldt Valley were part of a mixed use downtown. The now redeveloped Fairfield Health Site sure looked like a downtown thing before the site was redeveloped.. And what is going on the site now sure is being marketed as a downtown resort...

#44 Icebergalley

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 09:56 PM

Lack of sufficient parking for the art gallery - however - after our initial meetings with them they have added 60 more spots.


What is the parking requirement of the City for gallery type space?

Was this a reallocation of proposed spaces in the building and will it need a variance to meet your Association's parking analysis?

#45 G-Man

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:06 PM

Somebody asked about James Bay's concerns. They are:

This is a density bonus proposal in a residential neighbourhood. The City does not allow density bonusing anywhere except Downtown.


The only part of this neighbourhood that is residential are the relatively new towers to the north of here. Apart from that it is all hotel and government. So what do you mean residential?

I am no real fan of this proposal as the libray is too small and there is too much parking. I do think that criticism should be based in reality.

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#46 Holden West

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:15 PM



The CC site is along the top strip of the triangle at the extreme north east corner of James Bay where it meets Fairfield and Downtown. The Leg is to the west and St. Ann's is on the east.

Rockland is a residential neighbourhood. While JB has a large number of residents, it's about as mixed-use as you can get. True, Bonus Density doesn't apply here. So don't treat it like a Bonus Density deal. Judge the gallery on its own merit as a benefit for the whole region instead of an unwelcome burden placed on one neighbourhood..
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#47 gumgum

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:51 PM

I risk turning this topic into a pissing contest; but does the JBNEA recognize the fact that although this land is officially on JB territory, it really is more relevant to downtown?
It just seems to me that maybe the JBNEA should pick its battles, and give this one up.

I guess my perspective is that this section of town really is a part of JB on paper only.
This site is so vital to Victoria's core. This site really should be more consistent with what is needed and what has happened downtown: Higher density and greater height to reduce such pressures on its outlying neighbourhoods.

(I don't think this current proposal is the right fit either, btw.)

#48 Galvanized

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 11:01 PM

I still can't believe this site is considered James Bay! It should be considered downtown as the average citizen or tourist for that matter would. This is the type of gift that will not come around very often (if again) regardless of "Bonus Density". The JBNEA needs to give their head a shake.
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#49 Mike K.

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 12:48 AM

^Right.

Did the community meetings about downtown boundaries mean nothing to planners and neighbourhood organization leaders? Residents who participated overwhelmingly agreed that the Humboldt Valley and Legislature areas are "downtown" irrespective of political boundaries established dozens of years ago.

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#50 Icebergalley

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:50 PM

Thanks H W..

I know now that I'm in the duchy of Fairfield.. not a downtown resident... Oh.. so close..

#51 m0nkyman

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:56 PM

And that Harris Green is Victoria's smallest neighbourhood.

#52 zoomer

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:13 PM

/\ only in a a city comprised of 13 municipalities would there be also such as incredibly and ridiculously small official downtown. :roll:

Whatever happened to a global vision, concern for the greater good? No, let's divide ourselves into selfish little neighbourhood states. Perhaps the next logical evolution for Victoria is Street vs Street! Johnson vs. Pandora, View vs. Yates in a no holds barred cage match!

Somebody asked about James Bay's concerns. They are:

This is a density bonus proposal in a residential neighbourhood. The City does not allow density bonusing anywhere except Downtown.

The tower is too high.
Lack of sufficient parking for the art gallery - however - after our initial meetings with them they have added 60 more spots.

Incompatible with heritage buildings/sites to the east, north and northwest.

TRAFFIC! - it is impossible to access this site by car unless you are driving eastbound on Belleville. The current driveway access - so close to an intersection - would never be allowed now, and initial response from one of the traffic planners was along the lines of - "Now way Jose!". We have concerns about impact on traffic during the construction period.

We like the sculpture court and we like that while initially it would only be accessible via the inside of the gallery, they have now made it open and included ramping so that it is accessible for wheelchair and scooter users .

They are trying to do too much on a very small site.

In my personal opinion, height in the downtown area should rise from the west to the east and up in all directions from the Empress - following the rise of the land. Following this approach, whatever is built on this site should be lower than the Queen Victoria Inn.



Thanks for sharing your views Barra, it does sound like your group has made a positive impact in some regards, specifically the sculputre courtyard. I tend to agree with Holden West, though, let's stop catering to cars!! Really, how many beautiful European cities have city centre art galleries with their own parking?

You said:

The tower is too high


Can you elaborate? Why is it too high? Is there a maximum height you would like to see for Victoria, and if so what is it? Is all height bad?

Incompatible with heritage buildings/sites to the east, north and northwest.


Why is it incompatible? Personally I like the contrast between "high quality" modern architecture and heritage architecture. Surely we don't want to mimic the Empress or Crystal Gardens? Does this decade/century have nothing to offer in terms of new design? Is the only good architecture 80 + years old? Should Victoria remain stuck in a time warp? In Europe, Asia, the Middle East, heck on every continent there are wonderful examples of cities recreating themselves while hopefully preserving the best of the past. Don't fear change and what lies ahead, embrace it, and be a positive force for the city and all Victorians.

#53 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:39 PM

^ Thank-you zoomer, and Holden, and the rest for pointing out how silly this staking out of turf is. That this property falls into the JB neighbourhood is a weird fluke, but if JB wants to "own" it, maybe JB should consider what is best for the city overall.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#54 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:44 PM

^^ PS: about incompatibility with heritage style... If we build modern buildings that look like "olde" buildings, we'll be creating a little Disneyworld right here: fake; and we'll be saying that we don't believe in our own creativity. If we build first-class modern architecture, on the other hand, we'll be signalling that we're a wealthy, interesting, and lively city where people can actually do business and create stuff. If we leave the ugly parking lots and the dumpy stuff that blights some of our blocks, we'll just be saying that we're poor and don't give a damn.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#55 zoomer

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 04:11 PM

/\ exactly. Why is it that tourists almost always snap photos of the Empress and Parliament Buildings, but seemingly quite rarely of modern buildings? Because the Empress and Parliament buildings are massive and bold, not cowering in the corner as we seem to relegate our modern buildings. Heaven forbid that anything new be anywhere near the same scale as these two, heck, even a fraction of their scale!

All modern architecture must be subservient and irrelevant, must not attract any attention, preferably constructed of brick and blend into the background. If a tourist dare point a camera toward are modern building, then we have failed as a city, the spell of Olde England will be broken and we'll all be driving pumpkins down Douglas street.

Lets face it, we will fail as a city (architecturally speaking only) unless we do create new wonders, which will in time become heritage jewels.

Look at what a wonderful impact the Gherkin and new City Hall have had in London!





These are the new icons of London, recognized around the world. Wouldn't it be great have something other than the Empress and Parliament Buildings in our postcard shots?

All that being said, I wish the art gallery design was bolder and more innovative (vague terms I know!).

#56 aastra

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:24 PM

Somebody should tell the folks who run the Crystal Court Motel that they're located in James Bay and not downtown:

Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, close to the Royal B.C. Museum...


Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, the Crystal Court Motel is close to many of Victoria's main attractions...


Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Victoria...


Crystal Court Motel (Downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour)...


Anyway, if people don't like this proposal then that's great. Maybe it isn't the right thing for this particular site. But, as Holden West has already said, something will be built there whether we like it or not, so I hope everybody tries to focus their collective energies on making it the best it can possibly be.

I agree with Zoomer, fine modern buildings are indeed compatible with heritage buildings. You respect a fine old building by building fine new ones around it, not by building crap.

#57 Holden West

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:37 PM

*cough--Songhees--cough*
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#58 Galvanized

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 06:07 PM

*cough--Bay Centre--cough*
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#59 m0nkyman

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 06:13 PM

*cough----our convention centre----cough*

#60 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 06:45 PM

* cough. Just thought I'd get in on it, seems like the cool thing these days *
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

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