Your Questions Answered
These are the frequently asked questions we have received and responded to from a variety of stakeholders in the community. If you would like to learn more, please Get In Touch.
What is the status of Johnson|Cook|Yates?
Johnson|Cook|Yates received rezoning approval and Phase One development permit approval on October 24, 2019. Upon receipt of a building permit, construction of Phase One will begin at 1025 Johnson Street in early 2020.
How are potential noise impacts from the Fire Hall being addressed?
The building is designed to align with the Victoria Fire Department’s operational plan to mitigate traffic and noise through a variety of strategies, while improving responsiveness and efficiency between fire and ambulance services in the City of Victoria. A “good neighbour” agreement will also be implemented. To learn more about those strategies click here.
How is parking being addressed?
1025 Johnson Street includes 116 underground parking stalls for use by occupants of the building and the public. The underground will be equipped with electric charging stations for cars and scooters. The subsequent phases will be developed in accordance with the recently adopted City of Victoria Schedule C Parking Bylaw.
How high will the buildings be? Will there be view corridors?
We’ve proposed height, setbacks and building separations that meet or exceed the standards set out in the Downtown Core Area Plan to create a sense of place, maximize light and view corridors and add vibrancy to the Harris Green neighbourhood. These requirements are set out in a new zoning bylaw for this development.
How is density being managed?
We have worked on the design of Johnson|Cook|Yates for many months to create a community that is respectful to the neighbourhood and meets the needs of our growing city.
The City of Victoria’s policy documents target the downtown core and Harris Green for housing and amenity growth. While the density proposed for the site as a whole (6.8 FSR) exceeds the general range of densities contemplated by the Official Community Plan, the density for this site has been planned so that Johnson|Cook|Yates will be developed within the height guidelines in the 2011 Downtown Core Area Plan (which contemplates up to 15 and 17 storeys in this location) and in a way that meets or exceeds the livability guidelines of maximum floor plate sizes and setbacks.
The one exception where the application is not consistent with the Downtown Core Area Plan is the larger floor plate size for the affordable housing above the fire hall in 1025 Johnson Street. This is necessary because of the structural requirements of a post-seismic building. A letter from a professional Engineer confirming this has been provided to City Staff.
In addition, all zoning analysis and density calculations have been reviewed and are supported by City of Victoria Planning Staff based on their applicability in terms of liveability guidelines as well as the amenities being delivered.
Will there be green and open spaces?
We’ve listened to Harris Green community’s concerns for welcoming public spaces and responded by proposing larger setbacks around the perimeter of the property and a south-facing 2,700 square foot public plaza along Yates Street. Our vision for this public plaza is a vibrant gathering space to connect residents and visitors and will be designed in consultation with the City and the community. These improvements to the public realm are secured by way of a legal agreement with the City.
What types of uses are planned for Johnson|Cook|Yates?
The Johnson|Cook|Yates proposal includes a mix of uses that will bring vibrant services and amenities to the Harris Green neighbourhood together with increased housing options (both market and subsidized). In response to community feedback around the inclusion of “institutional uses”, the new zoning bylaw has been written to limit the scope of permitted institutional uses.
What are the public benefits of this development?
The public benefits of Johnson|Cook|Yates are focused on three key areas – housing, public safety and public spaces.
- A post-seismic Fire Hall No.1 which is already designed to complete specification will improve public safety. A third party audit has confirmed that the building design meets the needs of our growing city and the fixed-price purchase provides citizens with certainty when it comes to project cost.
- More than 500 new homes, including 130 affordable rental homes, will dramatically improve housing options for seniors, families, and individuals who are currently struggling to find quality, affordable accommodation that is close to their workplaces, schools and community network.
- Johnson|Cook|Yates will revitalize this property that has historically been used for an auto service and parking. The development will have generous light and view corridors and add a variety of retailers, offices, restaurants and commercial operations in a location that will make daily life more walkable for many people in the neighbourhood. In addition, there will be ample underground parking, secure bicycle storage and EV charging for cars and scooters.
- A 2,700 square foot public plaza on Yates Street together with increased property setbacks will create welcoming people-oriented spaces throughout the community. These open spaces are secured by legal agreements with the City of Victoria.
Will the development cause wind tunneling and wind effects?
A wind study was commissioned comparing various massing models of the proposed heights and tower separations. The outcome was that by adding taller buildings, consistent with OCP Heights (12-17 storeys) to the site, the wind environment improves at street level and more spaces with comfortable winds emerge.
What type of affordable housing is being built?
Approximately 25% of all housing at Johnson|Cook|Yates will be affordable rental homes. They will be built in the first phase of the development. These homes will provide a level of affordability ranging from deep subsidization to below market rents consistent with BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund. This offering has been made possible through a below-market sale of the homes from Dalmatian Developments to Pacifica Housing, who will own and operate this affordable rental building in perpetuity.
Achieving affordability at 1025 Johnson has not compromised suite sizes or livability. The 130 studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom & 3-bedroom homes will range in size from 365 to 1,011 square feet.
Affordable rental homes will be available to individuals and families at the following income levels:
- 20% affordable for very low income households ($15,000-$26,400)
- 50% affordable for low to moderate income households ($26,400-$75,500)
- 30% affordable for moderate income households ($42,500-$107,000)
*Incomes listed are for 2019
At the City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on February 14, 2019, City Council recommended advancing our applications to public hearing. This hearing will be taking place in the coming months.
Get In Touch.
Our team always welcomes your
questions and input.