We have been busy and things are moving! A productive meeting with Mayor Helps has shifted this discussion and accelerated many of the recommendations on this site becoming a reality. We have been working in collaboration with the Mayor and many community partners who are supportive and enthusiastic champions for most of these recommendations. See below for details and an audio clip interview if you prefer the cole’s notes.
Listen to a radio interview with Crystal Pool for All’s, Allison Ashcroft to hear about the motion before City Council on June 7, 2018 and her rationale for supporting this proposed enhancement to the Crystal Pool Redevelopment. If successful, this action could bring community services (community centre, welcome centre, childcare) to the neighbourhood along with affordable housing. Inclusion of housing on upper storeys of the centre will fund the community centre and place parking for the recreation centre underground.
Specifically, Mayor Helps is advancing a motion with Councillors Alto and Lucas containing the following recommendation.
The Mayor’s Motion and Recommendation:
That Council direct staff to report back at the next quarterly update on the implications and timeline for implementing the following recommendations.
Direct staff to:
1. Work with residents of North Park and other interested stakeholders community to develop and issue an RFEOI or RFP for:
a. Provision of affordable housing (on the site currently set aside for a surface parking lot) to include underground parking and a community space on the ground floor that would be able to accommodate at a minimum, a welcome centre for newcomers to Canada (should this be identified by stakeholders as a need, child care facility, community kitchen, and additional that may not be able to be accommodated in the Crystal Pool project for sport and non-sport programming for youth, seniors and other underserved groups.
b. Operation one or more of the community centre, child care, and welcome centre.
2. Design and report back to Council on the process for engaging the community (North Park, Harris Green, Downtown residents and immigrant and indigenous communities from across the city/region) about the community centre/welcome centre space.
3. Apply for funding through Partners for Places (https://www.fundersnetwork.org/partnersfor-places/) to undertake the process outlined in #2, with potential for matching funding from the United Way of Greater Victoria.
4. Design and report back to Council as part of the 2019 financial planning process on the process for engaging the neighbouring community and citywide residents about the Park Master Plan for Central park, including budget and timing. And direct staff to develop and communicate a plan through consultation with current park users, to ensure their continuing enjoyment and access to the park during construction of Crystal Pool.
Community Partner Support
A number of community partners have submitted letters of encouragement to Mayor and Council for this motion. These supporters include BC Housing, Greater Victoria Housing Society, Inter-Cultural Association, D’Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism, Crystal Pool for All, and individuals from neighbourhoods of North Park, Downtown and Hillside Quadra.
See the Mayor’s report and motion along with these outstanding letters of support for more detail and unique perspectives on this proposal (begins on page 313 in agenda at this link).
- Council’s decision-making process
Mayor’s Motion will first be discussed at Committee of the Whole on the afternoon of Thursday June 7th. No final decision will be made here, this Committee meeting provides an opportunity for Mayor and Council to discuss the issue less formally and in advance of actual decision making.
The Council meeting a week later, on Thursday June 14th is where/when the Mayor’s motion will receive its formal approval by Council.
Both Committee of the Whole on June 7th and the Council Meeting on June 14th are open to the public to attend. Visible support at these meetings sends a powerful and reassuring message to Council that the community is with them.
- Committee and Council Meeting Times
Because the exact time this topic will be discussed is unknown, we will be monitoring the progress of the agenda in real time on both June 7th and June 14th. If you’d like to receive a text or email alert when this topic is nearing so you can come down to city hall, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org