Our commitment to excellence has been recognized with more than 50 local and national awards for design, customer care and development planning. Building thoughtful communities requires dedicated resources at the ground level. I am proud to lead our community engagement efforts at Abstract Developments and am responsible for partnering with community associations, neighbours, municipal staff and local politicians to get our developments through the local government approval processes.
What do you think are the top three factors impacting the delivery of attainable housing in the Capital Region?
- The time it takes to get a project approved. In my experience it is between 24 and 30 months.
- Outdated Local Area Plans. We have not planned appropriately for the growth we are facing and seldom do we see crowds of cheering supporters showing up at Council meetings to support housing projects.
- Increasing costs. Over the past few years land and construction costs have risen rapidly and municipalities have only increased their fees and charges (Development Cost Charges, Community Amenities, etc.). Combined with the adoption of Step Code and the rollout of electric vehicle charging, municipalities are significantly increasing housing costs and forcing developers to seek higher density projects.
- Victoria: anticipates an additional 2,900 new households between 2020 and 2025. This translates to an additional 483 homes per year until the end of 2025.
- Saanich: anticipates an additional 3,049 new households between 2020 and 2025. This translates to an additional 508 homes per year until the end of 2025.
- Allow 4 to 6 units of housing on every single-family lot in the City. This is an attempt to tackle the “Missing Middle” housing problem, by creating opportunities for infill development in established neighbourhoods. I am very encouraged by this and hope other jurisdictions will follow suit. If we want to deliver more housing in a sustainable way, we cannot continue to have the vast majority of our land based dedicated to the most expensive and least sustainable form of housing.
- Eliminate Parking minimums. Victoria is recognizing the cost of providing parking is a major contributor to overall housing costs, averaging between $50-$60,000 per underground parking stall. They City is looking to shift their policy focus toward an outcome-based approach that aligns with the vision they have for the future of the city and transportation. Developers who wish to provide more parking than the maximum allowable would be required to pay into a green infrastructure fund that would be directed to improving public transit, as well as walking and cycling facilities. As I am Transportation Planner in a past life and someone who is passionate about bikes, I do appreciate the vision, but have some concerns about whether buyers are ready to accept a no car lifestyle. Over time I believe we will be able to move in this direction.
- Eliminate Public Hearings. The city is exploring the opportunity to eliminate public hearings for projects that are in alignment with the Official Community Plan. My understanding is they would begin this as a pilot for affordable housing and then would look at expanding to rental and / or market housing depending on how the community reacts to this approach.
Personally, I think this is the right way to move forward. We should be encouraging residents to engage at the time the plans are being developed, not when a project comes forward to Council for consideration. We should have the debate and the tough discussions when plans are being developed and then after we agree what is appropriate, allow the projects to move through the process. This would save developers considerable time in the process, add certainty, and hopefully allow for the supply we need to be created.
Receive Citified's timely real-estate news straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter, and connect with us on Facebook:
© Copyright 2021 by Citified.ca. All rights reserved.
- Would you like to be featured as part of a future Ten on the 10th Q&A? We'd love to hear from you
- View CBRE Victoria's website here
- View Abstract Developments' website here
- February, 2019: Phung Horwood's My Phung talks about real-estate appraisals
- March, 2019: Luke Mills of Megson Fitzpatrick Insurance talks about the insurance industry
- April, 2019: Greg Damant of Cascadia Architects talks about architecture in Victoria
- May, 2019: Real-estate development with Robert Fung of The Salient Group
- June, 2019: Rental housing industry Q&A with David Hutniak of LandlordBC
- July 2019: Harris Green redevelopment Q&A with Mark Chemij of Starlight Investments
- August 2019: Land remediation Q&A with Harm Gross of NEXT Environmental
- September 2019: Business banking Q&A with Raj Wirk of Coast Capital Savings
- October, 2019: Real-estate development Q&A with Mike Miller of Abstract Developments
- November, 2019: Real-estate development Q&A with Byron Chard of Chard Development
- December, 2019: Interest rate and commercial mortgage brokerage Q&A with Dave Ganong of Canada ICI Capital
- January, 2020: Real-estate development costs Q&A with Doug Foord of Invictus Commercial Investment Corp.
- February, 2020: Private lending and the mortgage industry Q&A with Len Shorkey of Shorkey Mortgage Corp.
- March, 2020: Strata insurance premiums Q&A with Luke Mills of Megson FitzPatrick Insurance
- April, 2020: Rental housing and COVID-19 Q&A with David Hutniak of LandlordBC
- June, 2020: COVID-19's impact on Victoria's real-estate Q&A with Jordan Milne of GMC Projects
- July, 2020: Multi-unit residential and commercial building fire safety services Q&A with Tim Lindsay of the Vancouver Island Fire Protection Association
- August, 2020: Royal Beach Q&A with Georgia Desjardins of Seacliff Properties, developer of the 134-acre Colwood project
- September, 2020: Victoria real-estate development Q&A with Sam Ganong of Curate Developments
- October, 2020: Real-estate development Q&A with developer Dan Cox of Cox Developments
- November, 2020: CRD affordable housing and CRD parks services Q&A with Stephen Henderson of the CRD
- December, 2020: Real-estate values, wine and housing market Q&A with Johnathon Sipos of Cielo Properties
- January, 2021: Mass timber construction, the Mayfair District and junior hockey Q&A with Edward Geric of Mike Geric Construction
- February, 2021: Excavating industry, sewage treatment pipe and COVID economy Q&A with Trevor Mann of Don Mann Excavating
- March, 2021: Victoria industrial sector investment opportunities Q&A with Brent Sawchyn of PC Urban Properties
- April, 2021: Northern Junk, Capital Iron lands and Victoria real-estate development Q&A with Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties
- Follow Citified on Twitter
- Connect with Citified on Facebook: