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Affordable-housing development near Vic High heads to public hearing Oct. 28

The public will get a chance to weigh in next week on a controversial proposal to build 154 affordable housing units near Victoria High School.
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Grounds of Victoria High School. TIMES COLONIST

The public will get a chance to weigh in next week on a controversial proposal to build 154 affordable housing units near Victoria High School.

The Caledonia project, proposed by the Capital Region Housing Corporation, consists of three townhouse buildings and two apartment buildings spread over nine assembled properties stretching from Gladstone Avenue to Grant Street.

The project, which will replace 22 existing units of housing with 154, is scheduled for public hearing Oct. 28.

The proposal has received mixed reviews. Many have pointed out the housing is desperately needed, but concerns have been raised about the size of the project and density proposed for the area.

The Capital Regional District said the project has undergone several design changes, including replacing one proposed apartment building with a townhouse complex, improving connectivity of the site and changing the scale of the buildings. There will be three 3.5-storey townhouse complexes, one five-storey apartment building and one four-storey building.

The property at 1211 Gladstone Ave. — the existing Caledonia townhouse complex on land owned by School District 61 and leased to Capital Region Housing Corporation — currently contains three attached townhouse buildings with 18 units. The property at 1209 North Park St. has a two-storey house with four units.

The remaining seven land parcels are vacant.

The project also proposes 109 underground parking stalls, 220 bike stalls, a playground, a children’s urban agriculture planting area, garden beds, picnic tables and benches and a “greenway,” a nine-metre easement running along the west side of the Vic High site from Grant to Gladstone.

The path will include a paved multi-modal surface and a row of trees on each side.

The properties were assembled through a land-exchange agreement between the city, B.C. Housing and the Greater Victoria School District, which will own the consolidated land parcel and lease it to the housing corporation.

aduffy@timescolonist.com