Moving and rehabilitating a heritage house will make way for a four-storey condominium/townhouse project between Burdett Avenue and McClure Street, near Vancouver Street.
The project by Mountain West Properties was unanimously approved by Victoria council Thursday.
It involves properties at 1003-1017 Burdett Ave. and 1016-1018 McClure St. and will see a tired, heritage-designated house at 1011 Burdett moved across the lot about 50 metres to 1016-1018 McClure St. — near a cluster of other single-family homes — where it will be rehabilitated for sale. Moving the house, built in 1912, makes way for four, two-storey townhouse units and a four-storey condominium building fronting Burdett Avenue. An existing vacant six-unit apartment on the property will be demolished.
Six people spoke at a public hearing into the proposal Thursday. While there were some concerns about effects of blasting on nearby buildings, parking access off McClure and maintenance of landscaping by tenants, comments were generally favourable.
Coun. Pam Madoff said mechanisms are in place to ensure any damage caused through blasting will be repaired. In assessing the application, she said she was worried about the effect the parking access would have on McClure.
“I was very anxious in looking at this application to make sure McClure did not become the back door — that it needs to be really respected. I think by proposing to move the heritage house it actually strengthens the streetscape of heritage buildings,” Madoff said.
“Every time I’ve visited this site, I was always struck by the application responding to an awkward piece of land,” said Coun. Chris Coleman, adding that there are drops in elevation in two directions.
“I look at the adaptation of a heritage piece of structure — a house — that moves to the other side. That’s quite a creative response in order to develop a 36-unit residence and still preserve the heritage context.”
Both Coleman and Madoff said moving the house softens the impact of having the underground parking approach off McClure. Both also lauded the development for the “lush” landscaping that is planned.
Coun. Ben Isitt said he could support the proposal even though it called for more density than the area has seen in the past. “I think it does create a lot of new housing in a fairly small footprint. But I think it does it in a way that doesn’t radically transform the character of the neighbourhood,” Isitt said.
The new development will consist of 32 condos, four townhomes, the restored heritage house and one level of underground parking. More than 40 new trees are to be added to the site. Plans call for secure bicycle parking for 36 bikes and 44 parking spaces.
Units will range in size from 500 square feet to about 1,400 square feet — and more than half will be one-bedroom units.
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