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FAQ2020-05-01T05:00:47+00:00

Frequently asked questions

Why is the site being rezoned?2020-04-30T19:59:26+00:00

The 3.41-acre site is composed of 4 legal lots.  The properties are currently zoned R-1 and RM-1 and are designated in the Official Community Plan (OCP) for Mixed-Residential development.  The rezoning will create a new, site-specific Comprehensive Development (CD) zone for the site.

Does the application require an amendment to the Official Community Plan?2020-04-30T19:33:54+00:00

No.  The application is consistent with the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Town of View Royal staff have confirmed that an amendment to the OCP is NOT required.

What is the proposed density?2020-04-30T19:33:10+00:00

The proposed density is 1.49 Floor Space Ratio (FSR).  Floor Space Ratio is an expression of the total amount of built (or buildable) area divided by the land area, to arrive at a ratio of the amount of floor area to site area.

The OCP allows up to 1.6 FSR for Mixed-Residential Development and therefore the application is below the maximum.

How many units are proposed?2020-04-30T19:43:46+00:00

The project includes 247 residential units.

What is the unit mix?2020-04-30T19:22:34+00:00

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Are the units going to be rental or strata?2020-04-30T19:39:51+00:00

The application is for strata residential units.  It is possible for strata units to be rented by individual owners.

Is this a good location for new development?2020-04-30T19:41:23+00:00

The project is an example of new housing in the right place.  The View Royal Official Community Plan identifies the site as part of the Northern Gateway Community Corridor that is also identified as one of the Change Areas within the bylaw.  The site is within walking distance of amenities, shops and services at Eagle Creek Village, and the major employment centre of the Victoria General Hospital.  The neighbourhood also benefits from direct access to the Trans Canada Highway, regional transit, and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail network.  Locating new housing in mixed-use neighbourooods with commercial and employment centres is good for the region as it will enable people to live closer to where they work and shop.

Why are the existing buildings being demolished?2020-04-30T19:45:30+00:00

There are 4 detached residential units on the site now, along with a 12-unit apartment building (Robilee Apartments).  These buildings have reached the end of their lifespan and are ready for redevelopment in line with the OCP.

What will happen to the people living on site now?2020-04-30T19:47:39+00:00

The existing residents will be supported in their transition to new housing when the project advances.  The project will exceed the requirements of the BC Residential Tenancy Act to help support existing tenants in their relocation.

What is the application doing to address traffic problems?2020-04-30T19:49:17+00:00

Traffic is a regional challenge and the project will be helping implement regional planning policies to have housing located closer to shops, services and employment to reduce the need for regional commuting.  We are all awaiting anticipated improvements to regional traffic once the McKenzie interchange project is completed.

Has a traffic study been completed?2020-04-30T19:50:53+00:00

Watt Consulting completed a Traffic Impact Analysis and concluded that the proposed development will not have an impact on traffic volume over the existing background traffic. “It is important to highlight that future failing conditions are due to background traffic, not site generated traffic. When site traffic is added to the study area intersections at buildout and 10 years beyond buildout, site traffic has minimal impact on the level of service, delay, and queuing at both intersections.” 

What improvements will be made to the streets?2020-04-30T19:52:03+00:00

New sidewalks and a planted boulevard will be constructed along the site’s frontages and a new bus bay and shelter will be provided along Helmcken Road.

How much parking is proposed? Where is it located?2020-04-30T19:53:26+00:00

The project proposes  340 vehicle parking spaces.   All of the parking will be underground.  In addition, 246 Class 1 bicycle parking spaces will be provided and 18 Class 2 space (visitor/bike racks).

Where is the driveway located?2020-04-30T19:55:29+00:00

A single site access driveway is proposed to be located off Burnside Road West.  All access to and from the site will be through this driveway, which connects to the underground parking entrances.

Does the project have the right to use the driveway of the adjacent Hidden Oaks townhouse development?2020-04-30T19:56:54+00:00

There is an Statutory Right of Way (SRW) that allows legal use of the existing driveway at Hidden Oaks to provide access to the property along Helmcken Road.  The project has designed the site to not require use of the driveway, to respect the neighbours and to not contribute more vehicle traffic to and from Helmcken Road.  The project is using a single access point and new driveway located off Burnside Road West.

How will transit use be supported?2020-04-30T20:34:33+00:00

A new bus bay will be constructed along Helmcken Road and a new bus shelter will be provided.  These amenities make taking transit more convenient and serve to help the transit system run more smoothly.

How can you encourage future residents to use alternative modes of transportation?2020-04-30T20:35:46+00:00

There are a number of features and strategies that may reduce the development’s impact on traffic operations by encouraging residents to use alternative modes.  These include:

  • Rebates for e-bike purchases ($500).
  • Charging stations for e-vehicles.
  • Working with Modo to encourage car share program expansion to View Royal.
  • A sidewalk is proposed on Helmcken Road and Burnside Road West.
  • Walkable connection to shops & services at Eagle Creek Village.
  • Bus bay and shelter on Helmcken Rd is proposed.
  • Direct access to transit.
  • Access to Galloping Goose Regional Trail.
How many buildings are proposed and how tall are the buildings?2020-04-30T20:37:08+00:00

Three buildings are proposed, stepping in height from three to six storeys.  The building step in response to adjacencies, with taller buildings in the north and shorter buildings facing residential and public space to the west, south, and east.

Our previous concept plans included more buildings and taller buildings, however, we heard concerns about buildings up to eight storeys in height and revised the plan.

How were the buildings organized on the site?2020-04-30T20:38:02+00:00

The site plan was shaped with input from our neighbours to address questions about privacy, overlook and scale.  The buildings are designed to be oriented to the adjacent streets, to frame and streets and present a pedestrian-oriented design, with ground-level units having their own separate entrances from the sidewalk.  The site plan also allows for the creation of a central green space for resident use.

Will any of the existing trees be retained?2020-04-30T20:39:00+00:00

We have worked with our arborist and landscape architects to prepare the site plan to enable retention of existing trees along the west and north property lines.  The buildings and underground parkades are set back away from the site boundary to protect high value mature trees.  Shifting the building back from the southwest corner not only allows for the preservation of the trees but also retains the distinctive rock outcropping that frames the sidewalk along Helmcken

What is the design for the corner of Helmcken and Burnside?2020-04-30T20:40:31+00:00

The intersection of Helmcken and Burnside marks the gateway into View Royal and the Northern Gateway Community Corridor.  At present, the corner is constrained with a retaining wall and narrow sidewalk.  Complete regrading of the site will allow us to create a generous public plaza, a landmark/gateway into View Royal, that would also provide a sense of relief from the busy intersection.

The stepped building-ends frame this outdoor space, which would be a combination of paved areas, seating, rain gardens, and a bike repair station.

Will there be any outdoor space for residents to use?2020-04-30T20:41:34+00:00

A large central open space forms a key feature of the site plan.  With the buildings framing the streets, the central space in the middle is left open and has been designed as a “woonerf” – a Dutch term for “living street”.  The welcoming and flexible shared outdoor space for resident use also provides safe, convenient vehicle access to all lobbies for loading, drop-offs, pickups, and emergency access.

A pedestrian walkway also connects through the site, supporting walkability and a safe corridor for residents linking to the sidewalk on Helmcken to walk to neighbourhood amenities such as Eagle Creek Village.

What is the setback to the neighbouring townhouse development?2020-04-30T20:42:49+00:00

Building setbacks have been informed by the tree retention plan.  Along the west side yard where we pay particular attention to the existing trees and neighbours, the average yard depth is 16.4m, over four times the RM-3 minimum. This setback, combined with the stepping down of the buildings to three and four storeys and the retention of the continuous evergreen tree buffer will provide a particularly sympathetic interface with Hidden Oaks.

Where building setbacks have not been dictated by tree root zones we have kept the perimeter yards well in excess of typical minimums. The average setback along Burnside is 8.2m and along Helmcken is 16.2m, over double what’s required in the comparable RM-3 zone.

What is different about the plan from the previous versions presented in 2018 and 2019?2020-04-30T20:44:05+00:00

We have made many changes to the plans as a result of further analysis and more community input.  Most importantly, we held two workshops in late 2019 with our neighbours to listen to their concerns and to revise the plan with their input.  Key changes relate to the site plan, with buildings now located further away from our neighbours to the west and shaped around important tree preservation areas.  The new plan proposes a reduction in overall density from 1.6 FSR to 1.49 FSR and unit count from 262 to 247.  The plan now includes three buildings instead of four and the buildings are stepped, with heights stepping from three storeys to six storeys, where previously we had buildings up to eight storeys in height.

How has the community been involved in the process?2020-04-30T20:45:36+00:00

Since 2018, we have presented at four Committee of the Whole meetings, three community meetings (advertised to 1,400 households each time) and had three meetings with neighbours in close proximity, representing a total of ten meetings where the public has had an opportunity to share feedback.

Most recently, we hosted two workshops with immediate neighbours in November and December of 2019, and a community meeting Open House on February 3, 2020 at the Songhees Wellness Centre.

How has community input been used?2020-04-30T20:47:09+00:00

We believe the plan has been positively shaped by the community and now better responds to a number of key issues.  While we strive to reach consensus, we acknowledge it is difficult to reach and instead have worked to balance the multiple inputs and interests to arrive at the new plan.  We prepared a summary of the community engagement that informed the current rezoning application, including an overview of how the site plan evolved with community input since project initiation in 2018.

What stage is the application at now?2020-04-30T22:43:58+00:00

The rezoning application was considered by View Royal Committee of the Whole on March 10, 2020.

What’s the next step in the process2020-04-30T22:45:11+00:00

The next step in the rezoning process following Committee of the Whole consideration is for View Royal staff to prepare the bylaw and bring it forward to Council for first and second reading, and scheduling of the Public Hearing.

How are meetings going to take place given COVID-19 and the physical distancing measures2020-04-30T22:46:09+00:00

View Royal Council considered a report from staff on April 21, 2020, and passed a motion that “staff report back to Council regarding an alternate public engagement process (non-statutory) for this application that could be undertaken prior to consideration of waiving a public hearing, and that any alternate public engagement process (non-statutory) be contingent upon forthcoming, anticipated Provincial guidance to local governments regarding public hearing processes.”

How will the public be informed about next steps?2020-04-30T22:47:34+00:00

Check the Town of View Royal’s website for more information about the public process.  We will update this website as new information becomes available.  A postcard was mailed out to all addresses within 400 m of the site in May 2020 to introduce neighbours to this website as a source of information.

If the rezoning is approved, what happens next?2020-04-30T22:48:34+00:00

After rezoning, the next step in the process is to advance a more detailed design of the project and to submit an application for a Development Permit.  A DP application could be submitted in the Fall of 2020.  Following the Town of View Royal review and issuance of the Development Permit application, the project would then move into detailed design and Building Permitting.

When could construction start?2020-04-30T22:49:36+00:00

Construction could start in the spring of 2021.

When could the project be completed, and housing units ready for people to move in?2020-04-30T22:50:53+00:00

The project would require approximately 18-24 months to complete, which means the new housing could be ready in the spring of 2023.

Where is the driveway located?2020-04-30T19:55:29+00:00

A single site access driveway is proposed to be located off Burnside Road West.  All access to and from the site will be through this driveway, which connects to the underground parking entrances.

Does the project have the right to use the driveway of the adjacent Hidden Oaks townhouse development?2020-04-30T19:56:54+00:00

There is an Statutory Right of Way (SRW) that allows legal use of the existing driveway at Hidden Oaks to provide access to the property along Helmcken Road.  The project has designed the site to not require use of the driveway, to respect the neighbours and to not contribute more vehicle traffic to and from Helmcken Road.  The project is using a single access point and new driveway located off Burnside Road West.

How will transit use be supported?2020-04-30T20:34:33+00:00

A new bus bay will be constructed along Helmcken Road and a new bus shelter will be provided.  These amenities make taking transit more convenient and serve to help the transit system run more smoothly.

How can you encourage future residents to use alternative modes of transportation?2020-04-30T20:35:46+00:00

There are a number of features and strategies that may reduce the development’s impact on traffic operations by encouraging residents to use alternative modes.  These include:

  • Rebates for e-bike purchases ($500).
  • Charging stations for e-vehicles.
  • Working with Modo to encourage car share program expansion to View Royal.
  • A sidewalk is proposed on Helmcken Road and Burnside Road West.
  • Walkable connection to shops & services at Eagle Creek Village.
  • Bus bay and shelter on Helmcken Rd is proposed.
  • Direct access to transit.
  • Access to Galloping Goose Regional Trail.
How many buildings are proposed and how tall are the buildings?2020-04-30T20:37:08+00:00

Three buildings are proposed, stepping in height from three to six storeys.  The building step in response to adjacencies, with taller buildings in the north and shorter buildings facing residential and public space to the west, south, and east.

Our previous concept plans included more buildings and taller buildings, however, we heard concerns about buildings up to eight storeys in height and revised the plan.

How were the buildings organized on the site?2020-04-30T20:38:02+00:00

The site plan was shaped with input from our neighbours to address questions about privacy, overlook and scale.  The buildings are designed to be oriented to the adjacent streets, to frame and streets and present a pedestrian-oriented design, with ground-level units having their own separate entrances from the sidewalk.  The site plan also allows for the creation of a central green space for resident use.

Will any of the existing trees be retained?2020-04-30T20:39:00+00:00

We have worked with our arborist and landscape architects to prepare the site plan to enable retention of existing trees along the west and north property lines.  The buildings and underground parkades are set back away from the site boundary to protect high value mature trees.  Shifting the building back from the southwest corner not only allows for the preservation of the trees but also retains the distinctive rock outcropping that frames the sidewalk along Helmcken

What is the design for the corner of Helmcken and Burnside?2020-04-30T20:40:31+00:00

The intersection of Helmcken and Burnside marks the gateway into View Royal and the Northern Gateway Community Corridor.  At present, the corner is constrained with a retaining wall and narrow sidewalk.  Complete regrading of the site will allow us to create a generous public plaza, a landmark/gateway into View Royal, that would also provide a sense of relief from the busy intersection.

The stepped building-ends frame this outdoor space, which would be a combination of paved areas, seating, rain gardens, and a bike repair station.

Will there be any outdoor space for residents to use?2020-04-30T20:41:34+00:00

A large central open space forms a key feature of the site plan.  With the buildings framing the streets, the central space in the middle is left open and has been designed as a “woonerf” – a Dutch term for “living street”.  The welcoming and flexible shared outdoor space for resident use also provides safe, convenient vehicle access to all lobbies for loading, drop-offs, pickups, and emergency access.

A pedestrian walkway also connects through the site, supporting walkability and a safe corridor for residents linking to the sidewalk on Helmcken to walk to neighbourhood amenities such as Eagle Creek Village.

What is the setback to the neighbouring townhouse development?2020-04-30T20:42:49+00:00

Building setbacks have been informed by the tree retention plan.  Along the west side yard where we pay particular attention to the existing trees and neighbours, the average yard depth is 16.4m, over four times the RM-3 minimum. This setback, combined with the stepping down of the buildings to three and four storeys and the retention of the continuous evergreen tree buffer will provide a particularly sympathetic interface with Hidden Oaks.

Where building setbacks have not been dictated by tree root zones we have kept the perimeter yards well in excess of typical minimums. The average setback along Burnside is 8.2m and along Helmcken is 16.2m, over double what’s required in the comparable RM-3 zone.

What is different about the plan from the previous versions presented in 2018 and 2019?2020-04-30T20:44:05+00:00

We have made many changes to the plans as a result of further analysis and more community input.  Most importantly, we held two workshops in late 2019 with our neighbours to listen to their concerns and to revise the plan with their input.  Key changes relate to the site plan, with buildings now located further away from our neighbours to the west and shaped around important tree preservation areas.  The new plan proposes a reduction in overall density from 1.6 FSR to 1.49 FSR and unit count from 262 to 247.  The plan now includes three buildings instead of four and the buildings are stepped, with heights stepping from three storeys to six storeys, where previously we had buildings up to eight storeys in height.

How has the community been involved in the process?2020-04-30T20:45:36+00:00

Since 2018, we have presented at four Committee of the Whole meetings, three community meetings (advertised to 1,400 households each time) and had three meetings with neighbours in close proximity, representing a total of ten meetings where the public has had an opportunity to share feedback.

Most recently, we hosted two workshops with immediate neighbours in November and December of 2019, and a community meeting Open House on February 3, 2020 at the Songhees Wellness Centre.

How has community input been used?2020-04-30T20:47:09+00:00

We believe the plan has been positively shaped by the community and now better responds to a number of key issues.  While we strive to reach consensus, we acknowledge it is difficult to reach and instead have worked to balance the multiple inputs and interests to arrive at the new plan.  We prepared a summary of the community engagement that informed the current rezoning application, including an overview of how the site plan evolved with community input since project initiation in 2018.

What stage is the application at now?2020-04-30T22:43:58+00:00

The rezoning application was considered by View Royal Committee of the Whole on March 10, 2020.

What’s the next step in the process2020-04-30T22:45:11+00:00

The next step in the rezoning process following Committee of the Whole consideration is for View Royal staff to prepare the bylaw and bring it forward to Council for first and second reading, and scheduling of the Public Hearing.

How are meetings going to take place given COVID-19 and the physical distancing measures2020-04-30T22:46:09+00:00

View Royal Council considered a report from staff on April 21, 2020, and passed a motion that “staff report back to Council regarding an alternate public engagement process (non-statutory) for this application that could be undertaken prior to consideration of waiving a public hearing, and that any alternate public engagement process (non-statutory) be contingent upon forthcoming, anticipated Provincial guidance to local governments regarding public hearing processes.”

How will the public be informed about next steps?2020-04-30T22:47:34+00:00

Check the Town of View Royal’s website for more information about the public process.  We will update this website as new information becomes available.  A postcard was mailed out to all addresses within 400 m of the site in May 2020 to introduce neighbours to this website as a source of information.

If the rezoning is approved, what happens next?2020-04-30T22:48:34+00:00

After rezoning, the next step in the process is to advance a more detailed design of the project and to submit an application for a Development Permit.  A DP application could be submitted in the Fall of 2020.  Following the Town of View Royal review and issuance of the Development Permit application, the project would then move into detailed design and Building Permitting.

When could construction start?2020-04-30T22:49:36+00:00

Construction could start in the spring of 2021.

When could the project be completed, and housing units ready for people to move in?2020-04-30T22:50:53+00:00

The project would require approximately 18-24 months to complete, which means the new housing could be ready in the spring of 2023.