Victoria Council approves condo and townhouse development on former Truth Centre site

Victoria City Council has given a local developer a green light to build condos and townhouses on a two acre property at 1201 Fort Street.

The vote was 6-3 at a special council meeting Thursday night. It ends a long process that saw six design changes over a two year period and several heated public hearings.

"Some people are probably leaving feeling like they lost," said President and CEO of Abstract Development Mike Miller after the vote. "But it's certainly not our intention to have a win-lose scenario. Rather, it's always our intention with any development to try to have a win-win, both for ourselves, the city of course including council and staff, and also the neighbourhood at large."

The approved plan calls for nine townhouse units along Pentrelew Place and two condo buildings, four storeys and six storeys, along Fort Street. Abstact says they also plan to preserve eight mature garry oak trees on the site along with 14 other mature trees. A public pathway will be established.

Many residents of the Rockland neighbourhood opposed the development, expressing concern over the scale and the loss of green space.

Size wasn't the only concern. Councillor Ben Isitt was one of three councillors to vote against the project, "it's hugely problematic that not a single affordable unit is proposed on this land." But other councillors noted in previous meetings that Abstact is building affordable housing in another development a couple blocks down the road on Fort St.

Construction could start late this year or early 2019.

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