What We Heard at the Open House #2 on May 22, 2019

Rezoning Application & OCP Amendment The Commons & The Quarry Neighbourhoods

OVERVIEW

The early engagement of Colwood residents and site neighbours is essential to establishing awareness and understanding of what is proposed for the Commons and Quarry neighbourhoods of Royal Bay. Engagement, throughout the development of the rezoning application, is helping inform Gablecraft respond to the input received to prepare an application that is informed by Colwood residents and immediate neighbours to the site.

The second in a series of public engagement opportunities was held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at Royal Bay Secondary School (atrium). Building off what was presented and heard from neighbours and members of the public on March 13th, this open provided more detailed plans and renderings, and details on parks, transportation and timelines, which previous attendees had indicated was important to them.

OPEN HOUSE FORMAT

The open house was held Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Royal Bay Secondary.

Staff from Gablecraft, Urban Systems (planning consultants), LADR (landscape architects) and Tavola Strategy Group (public engagement consultants) were on hand to answer questions of the public and to facilitate their feedback.

Parking was available on-site, and refreshments and a kids activity table were provided to remove barriers to participation.

The purpose of the open house was to:

  • To share the updated plans for the Quarry and Commons, the next chapters for the Royal Bay community;
  • To seek input from the community to inform the rezoning application to the City of Colwood;
  • To demonstrate how the proposed developments meet the objectives of the City of Colwood’s Official Community Plan, with a vision for Royal Bay to become a mixed-use waterfront community, offering a range of housing forms including detached, ground-oriented, attached and apartment homes, along with a variety of services and amenities.

A sign-in sheet was utilized to determine where attendees lived in proximity to the site and to establish a mailing list for those interested in receiving updates about the process. 168 people registered for updates.

Each attendee was provided a feedback form to complete and an Ideas Board invited comments about what attendees felt “excited them most” about the Commons and Quarry.

PROMOTION & AWARENESS-RAISING

  • Invitations were delivered to over 2,000 homes neighbouring Royal Bay a week prior to the event;
  • A quarter page colour ad appeared in the Goldstream Gazette, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 and Friday, May 17, 2019;
  • Social media posts shared by Royal Bay, City of Colwood and Colwood Community Association Facebook page;
  • Direct outreach occurred to Mayor and Council, City of Colwood staff, Sooke School District No.62, BC Transit, and BC Ferries to ensure they were aware of the event.

WHO PARTICIPATED

  • 168 people signed in at the open house on May 22, 2019;
  • Many had not attended the first open house;
  • Most attendees were from the immediate neighbourhood and the broader Colwood community.

WHAT WAS SHARED

Topic-specific display boards are outlined in Appendix B. Topics were:

Overview

1. Welcome – format for the evening
2. What we have heard – public input opportunities to date and what was heard at Open House #1
3. Land use concept
4. The Commons – High Street and Commercial
5. The Commons – Housing forms
6. Land-use concept – The Quarry
7. Streets Designed to Share
8. Planned Transportation Improvements
9. Parks and Open Spaces and Trails (3 boards)
10. Environment
11. Sustainability Commitment
12. Timeline
13. Interim Temporary uses
14. Next Steps

WHAT WE HEARD

37 feedback forms were completed and 77 comments were captures on an interactive Ideas Board. A number of themes emerged from the input received and a further breakdown of feedback by question is noted in Appendix A:

  • Almost all respondents indicated they felt the vision fits within the neighbourhood. 27 indicated yes, and 3 indicated somewhat. There were no responses that indicated it did not.
  • Most comments were supportive of specific amenities and improvements proposed, including restaurant/pub, coffee, parks, grocery store, transit, and elementary school in particular.
  • Several respondents offered appreciation of the greater detail provided.
  • There were a number of questions about the specific details associated with the planned amenities, including: which grocery store brand will it be, what types of equipment will be included in the parks, (i.e. swings), and building heights.
  • There was curiosity expressed about how the pit and soil piles are addressed as part of the redevelopment and what the first phase of development will look like.
  • Two respondents indicated an interest in housing for seniors, and one mentioned disappointment about the neighbourhood house not being included.
  • Several existing residents expressed appreciation for the new plan for the pop up café concept presented as it responded to the previously expressed frustration about a lack of local amenities.

WHAT’S NEXT

All input will now be considered in detail and will inform further development of the application, and future public engagement opportunities. The next open house is planned for the fall of 2019.

Information about public engagement efforts to date and upcoming opportunities can be found here.