We’ve followed the saga of the 902 Foul Bay project for a few years now—but this past week it appeared right back at council again after seeming to have been settled last summer.
Today we look at why, and what it could mean for other local housing projects.
Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes
Developer asks to break affordability deal it made for contentious 902 Foul Bay project
A year ago, it seemed like the saga over one of Victoria’s most controversial recent housing developments was over.
A proposal to put 18 townhouses on a mostly empty lot in Fairfield had pitted neighbour against neighbour, and sparked allegations of harassment, legal intimidation, and disinformation. But by summer 2022 there was resolution: the project’s rezoning was approved, with a deal made to price some units below market.
This past Thursday, though, the project was back at city council. Developer Aryze, citing rising construction costs, wants out of that cheaper-units agreement with the CRD.
Councillors were frustrated. The project remains in line with Victoria’s priorities, but there are concerns that this “bait and switch” could embolden other developers—and that the city just does not seem to be able to deliver affordable midsize housing.
Wind warning continues, but expected to ease by midday.
Fort street closed to vehicles from Blanshard to Quadra again today (7am-7pm)
UVic plays for rugby championship vs. UBC today at 5pm in Langley.
Royals’ home point streak ends at 9 games; they lost 3-8 in their first time hosting Lethbridge since 2019.
New scams targeting South Islanders
Saanich Police warned on Friday that they have seen a recent rise in a scam type called “pig butchering” (a reference to fattening a hog before slaughter).
These scammers, which police said primarily target Chinese community members, contact the target over social media or a dating app, befriend them, and eventually convince them to invest in cryptocurrency. These investments sometimes “pay out” early on, motivating the target to invest more, but in reality are fabrications controlled by the scammer.
The scams can be long-lasting, and scammers rely on both the personal relationship with the target and on made-up justifications for money losses (e.g. claiming taxes reduced payout).
A separate Friday scam warning came from the Capital Regional District, which said that callers have been impersonating it to ask residents for personal info. The CRD says that its number can be mimicked, but that it would never abruptly call and ask for credit card details.
Oak Bay hearing project headlines new funding to help include Island seniors
Oak Bay Rec Centre, via District of Oak Bay
Island communities will receive $125K+ in provincial funding for age-inclusive programming encouraging seniors to live active and independent lives. It’s part of the $500K BC-wide Age-friendly Communities (AFC) program.
Oak Bay will get $15K to create an accessible assisted listening project at Oak Bay Rec Centre. It offers hearing technology to older adults in the community (which has an average age of 49.5, vs. the national average of 41).
"Many people with hearing difficulties share with me about how it is an invisible disability, one that they’re dealing with everyday,” said Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, in a release. He says that he hopes this funding will allow older community members to “participate fully” in rec centre activities.
Other Island municipalities receiving grants:
Nanaimo: $15K to plan a potential transit service to serve Gabriola Islanders
Comox: $20.6K to support relationships between older adults and young families
Campbell River: $25K to create a community plan that involves seniors in emergency planning, social inclusion, and food security.
Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council: $25K to evaluate its food security system with seniors in mind.
North Island Métis Association- Ketehayak Tasshkinikayen (Elders Sharing): $25K to provide a place for seniors to have a say in planning community support, health, and wellness services.
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Sidney Island deer cull to involve semi-automatic rifles
The controversial cull, starting Dec. 1 and running for about 10 days, will see sharpshooters hired by Parks Canada eradicate the European fallow deer. The cull will be carried out mainly from helicopters, land, and, more rarely, boats. Few Sidney Island residents are expected to be present during this time. [Times Colonist]
Eby pitches pre-election focus on housing supply and climate at party convention in Victoria
The premier described extreme weather that has battered BC, such as floods and fires, as the “cost of inaction” on environmental issues. Eby emerged from last week’s leadership review with support from 93% of BC NDP party delegates. [CTV]
Undetected engine defect led to fatal helicopter crash on North Island, TSB concludes
The Transportation Safety Board has been reviewing the April 2022 incident near Port McNeill, which killed a pilot. [CBC]
Massive two-decade Nanaimo development moves forward
The Sandstone project by Seacliff Properties (which also builds Colwood’s Royal Beach) would add 2,000+ homes, on either side of the highway near Duke Point. Council advanced the project after a public hearing that had slightly over half of residents opposed, with traffic a common concern. [Nanaimo News Bulletin]
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🥞 Christmas Pancake Breakfast: This fundraiser for The Cure Starts Now today at Gorge Park Pavilion will include pictures with Santa, Christmas crafts, and a raffle. 9am-12pm.
🎻 The Barra Macneils: The Nova Scotian group will perform today at Charlie White Theatre, 2pm and 7:30pm.
🎭 O Christmas Tea: The festive James & Jamesy comedy play shows today at Royal Theatre, 3pm.
🛍️ Christmas Vintage, Retro & Collectible Show/Sale: Shop vintage jewellery, art, collectibles, and more today at Mary Winspear Centre, 9:30am-4pm.
Victoria Symphony at Farquhar Auditorium: Conductor Christian Kluxen will lead a performance of Back, Prokofiev, and Mozart today, 2:30pm.
🎶 Octet Victoria at Wentworth Villa: Listen to choral music ranging from Renaissance to modern day today, 2:30pm.
Final service today at First Metropolitan United on Quadra; its congregation is merging with Broad View and vacating the 110-year-old downtown church. [Capital Daily]
Winter cocktails to get into the season at these 10 local bars. [Tasting Victoria]
Friday’s headlines: Seniors in care lacking socialization. Locals combat climate helplessness. Teen hurt in hockey melee. BC demolishes Hells Angels clubhouse. [Nov 17]
Missing: Anthony Balzer, 56, last seen Weds. on Mount Matheson Road (East Sooke). [Photo]
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