Floating terminal for Harbour Air moves closer as Victoria approves variance

Harbour Air’s plan for a floating terminal in the Inner Harbour has moved forward after council approved requested variances.

The two-storey, 5,242-square-foot terminal with a sloping roof in the shape of a wing would be located on a water lot owned by the city and replace the existing terminal of converted trailers. A plaza, public walkway, benches, trees and bicycle racks would also go in. The passenger pick up and drop off area would be redesigned.

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The new building is to have a waiting room, pilot lounge and other space relating to the business.

Harbour Air went to the city for variances to existing rules governing construction on the site. Council approved the package of requests after a public hearing last week.

The $4-million terminal would be constructed under a partnership between Harbour Air, Westcoast Air and Kenmore Air and provide space for other float planes.

Harbour Air earlier won rezoning approval on the water to allow it to redesign its floatplane docks.

Coun. Geoff Young said Wednesday the major variance granted was to allow two buildings on one lot.

Young, who voted in favour of the variances, said the new terminal is more attractive than the existing facility. On the down side, he said the development brings one more building into Victoria’s small harbour and it has some impact on views from the landward site.

A key issue that council has still to consider is the future lease arrangement with Harbour Air, Young said. The city anticipates the company will be seeking a long-term deal given the investment being made into the new terminal.

The proposal has gone through the city’s advisory design panel and is complete from a development services perspective.

— Times Colonist

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