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Council briefs: Growth in urban parts of City outpacing neighbourhood centres

Official Community Plan population projections on target overall
City council received its annual Official Community Plan progress report at a recent meeting. Nicole Crescenzi/ VICTORIA NEWS

As part of a five-year review of Victoria’s Official Community Plan, which was adopted in 2012, City staff have found that growth in and around neighbourhood centres is not meeting projections.

The fifth annual OCP progress snapshot report delivered to council recently stated that while overall population projections have exceeded targets every year since 2012, rapid growth in the urban core is driving those numbers. Otherwise, staff found that the OCP’s goals, objectives and policies are driving intended outcomes in many areas, from housing and public infrastructure to economic activity and employment growth.

Future considerations related to the OCP, council heard, would be protect Victoria’s employment lands and continue to remove barriers to economic development.

Also discussed at last week’s council meeting:

• An update on the new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre project, after which council directed staff to look into alternatives for providing parking space for users that would ensure no net loss of green park space, including looking at Royal Athletic Park.

• In voting to remove overnight sheltering as an option in Reeson and Quadra parks, council approved a motion calling for the City to work with BC Housing to ensure no net loss of sheltering spaces in summer 2019, when cold weather beds will be closed and shelter providers are running other programs.

• Council directed staff to investigate how to make City Hall meeting spaces more accessible.

• Late night recommendations, from which motions were approved asking the mayor to write the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch to request more liquor inspectors for Greater Victoria and that Food Primary license holders that consistently serve more alcohol than food be required to switch to a Liquor Primary licence or have a split licence; and that the mayor write to the B.C. Transit Commission to support extended late-night bus service hours.

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