Submitted by the James Bay Neighbourhood Association

The June 2016 general monthly meeting of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA) included one proposal for review under the CALUC (Community Association Land Use Committee) process and a review of JBNA Issues and Priorities.

Long-time James Bay resident, Bob Greene, presented a development proposal for his property at 425 Oswego Street under the City of Victoria small lot policy. The intent is to build a three-bedroom home that would complement the adjacent 429 Oswego Street residence, with variances related to lot size and setbacks. The lot size is significantly smaller than the minimum identified within the policy. The small (two storey plus basement) residence would require set-back variances for front, back, both sides of the lot, as well as building height. The small lot width under discussion is less than one meter smaller than required by the bylaw. There is a driveway on the property with space for one vehicle, or potentially two small cars.

Marg Gardiner reviewed the record of 2015/16 JBNA issues and presented proposed priorities, issues and projects for 2016/17:

  • Sewage issues still unresolved so it is not known whether or not there will be any station at Ogden Point. If Clover Point pumping station is expanded, there may be a pipe from Clover Point to Ogden Point. This could involve excavating the park edge along Dallas Road and installing a new bike lane upon completion. This would also involve stabilization work on the Dallas Road bluffs.
  • Capital Park construction continues.
  • BC Transit proposed bus routing. BC Transit will return to JBNA with update proposal regarding James Bay routing.
  • Ogden Point Master Plan is open to public, input invited. An open house on June 22 was well attended. Emission complaints have increased this year. Ships are using lower sulphur fuels and some have scrubbers. Monitors measure sulphur dioxide but not other compounds which are emitted.
  • Tenting/camping in James Bay parks. JBNA wrote to the City to request that camping be prohibited in James Bay parks. No response to date.
  • Transportation Issues. The electric bus that GVHA planned has not yet been put into action. 
  • Casino possibility. We hope that consideration of James Bay as a potential site does not continue.
  • Garden coordination continues. A request for the James Bay Orchard (at edge of Montreal/Niagara adjacent to tennis courts) is under consideration. Fund raising is necessary to purchase trees, etc. City has confirmed that an orchard would not conflict with the Todd Trust.
  • Douglas Visioning - requires funding to proceed. The issue is to visually connect Beacon Hill Park to the James Bay community, a challenge given the level of vehicular traffic on Douglas Street. The City will donate partial funding to enable visioning from Belleville to Dallas Road.
  • The City’s CALUC review continues.
  • Bicycling/walking: Biketoria did not proceed with plans for James Bay because the proposed routes were not supported by residents or industry. JBNA may develop a committee to look at cycling routes as well as walking paths.
  • Development proposals are expected to consume a fair amount of time for the JBNA in 2016/17.
  • Potential for marijuana dispensaries - no applications to date for James Bay

A JBNA member expressed a concern that the priorities had not been developed through consultation with the membership. He proposed that Executive find ways to involve membership in developing priorities and requested that previous issues and priorities be reported on in more detail.

Another resident raised concerns about CALUC development proposals being presented with insufficient clarity and detail. Developers and meeting participants may not be aware of the complexities of the development process or the language involved and it would be helpful to have clarity in proposals. 

The City of Victoria is proposing a new policy on the Density Bonus and Community Amenity Contribution Policy. The JBNA and other community associations have requested additional time to evaluate the proposal. The staff report and consultant's analysis can be found under item #6 at

Cruise Industry

On June 18 five ships were scheduled to dock at Ogden Point. With a combined passenger capacity of over 10,500, plus crew, the number of visitors was expected to be greater than the resident population of James Bay on that day. JBNA continues to advocate for the positive transformation of the industry by demanding accountability of both the industry and their landlord, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

A crosswalk at Fisherman's Wharf Park is not in City's priorities for this year. It is a major priority for the JBNA, given the number of children who access Fisherman's Wharf.

Resident requests support from JBNA for off leash dog opportunities in James Bay, specifically Fisherman’s’ Wharf Park, as there are no off-leash areas in this neighbourhood.

This Summer

Join your neighbours for JBNA meetings on the 2nd Wednesday in July and August. 

City Planning staff are checking their schedules to see if they are able to participate in the annual round table discussion about planning, tentatively scheduled for July 13.

Two proposals are scheduled for the August 10 meeting. Another look at rezoning for 121 Menziesis expected to be ready for community review. Due to current building conditions of 337 St James, the owner anticipates deconstructing this east wing with a new build that requires a development permit. 335 St James will not be directly affected by this proposal.

Agendas are tentative; please check the JBNA web-site at the beginning of the month for confirmation.