New UVic parkade plan adds just 98 stalls

The University of Victoria has significantly scaled back plans to build a parkade on McKenzie Avenue.

The University of Victoria has significantly scaled back plans to build a parkade on McKenzie Avenue.

The new proposal for the parkade – to be built as part of the new Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) – calls for it to be just 10 metres tall, with four levels of parking above ground and one level underground.

This comes after Saanich council and the community repeatedly told UVic over the last year that previous plans for a seven-level, 19.5-metre tall parkade were too big.

The current plan, presented at four open houses on the weekend and earlier this week, has a total of 332 parking stalls. Only 98 of them are new, however, as CARSA will be built on top of an existing 234-stall parking lot.

Kristi Simpson, associate vice-president of campus planning, acknowledges that the new parkade would only solve a fraction of the parking needs on campus.

“We did a transportation and parking report back in 2008 that told us between the years 2013 and 2018, even with a good (transportation demand management) program, we need to build up to 800 new stalls,” she said. “This gets us 100, and as we more forward we’ll have to think about how we accommodate that other 700.”

Saanich bylaws require that the university install one parking stall for every 50 square metres of new university buildings. In the last decade, UVic has successfully lobbied Saanich council to support parking variances to install fewer parking stalls than required.

If the new parkade is built, UVic will need an additional parking variance of 256 stalls – leaving the campus 1,000 spaces shy of what’s required by Saanich bylaws.

At the open houses, the new design was presented along with three different esthetic options: concrete and vines, glass and metal panels, or aluminum fins. Costs range from $13.4 million to $15.5 million.

After reviewing feedback from last weekend’s open houses, UVic will finalize a design to submit to the Saanich planning department.

For more information on the new parkade plan, visit www.uvic.ca/carsa

kslavin@saanichnews.com