What We Heard at the January 29 Open House

Ben Mycroft, Senior Development Manager, Royal Bay talks to community members at the Open House

OVERVIEW

This open house was the third community open house offered in the past year and builds upon the public engagement for the 2014 Royal Bay Area Plan and the 2018 Colwood Official Community Plan process. The event offered the community an opportunity to learn more and provide feedback about the future village centre and the Latoria South neighbourhood before it is presented to Colwood City Council in February 2020.

The open house was held on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at Royal Bay Secondary School (atrium). Building off what was presented and heard from neighbours and members of the public at prior open houses, this open house provided updates on timelines, elementary school location, transit and transportation improvements, parks and trails planning, and the Commons shops and services. Timelines and next steps were also outlined.

OPEN HOUSE FORMAT

The open house was held Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Royal Bay Secondary. A presentation was offered from 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Seventeen display boards with project details were available for information. Dan Huang from Urban Systems provided a presentation on the proposal and 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 kid’s activity table were provided to remove barriers to participation. Sequoia Coffee and Truffles Catering were on-hand to serve coffee, tea, and cookies.

The purpose of the open house was to:

  • To share the updated plans for the Quarry and Commons
  • To convey the intent of the proposed density and massing of buildings using images of comparable projectsand buildings
  • To seek input from the community to inform the rezoning application to be submitted to the City of Colwood in February 2020
  • 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 and 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. 88 people registered for email updates. Each attendee was provided a feedback form to complete.

PROMOTION AND AWARENESS-RAISING

  • A flyer was delivered to residents in the area between January 20 – 24, 2020.
  • A quarter page colour ad appeared in the Goldstream Gazette on Friday, January 17 and Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
  • Information was available online through www.liveatroyalbay.ca/engagement, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • An article appeared in the Goldstream Gazette
  • Community groups and the City of Colwood also shared information about the event.
  • An email was sent to all residents who have signed up for the Royal Bay updates.

WHO PARTICIPATED

  • 186 people attended the open house, and 46 feedback forms were received.
  • Of the 186 people in attendance 70 people/families indicated they were from Colwood, with 17 living within Latoria South.
  • Not all who attended indicated where they live.
  • Many had attended the previous three Royal Bay open houses and the “pop-up coffee shop” event held over the past year.

WHAT WAS SHARED

Large display boards provided an overview of the proposal and background information on the development. You can view these display boards at the bottom of this blog post.

WHAT WE HEARD

46 feedback forms were completed. A number of themes emerged from the input received:

  • The majority of respondents are supportive of the vision for the Commons including the proposed level of density and neighbourhood-scale commercial centre.
  • Four respondents noted they would like to see buildings remain less than four storeys. Some noted their support for the vision and density but noted the need to balance density and height with the protection of view corridors.
  • There were many comments about potential amenities and services to be included, with highest mentions of a restaurant/pub and medical clinic/health services.
  • Several respondents noted interest in features that bring community together, citing examples such as pubs, community meeting spaces, weekend markets and a community bulletin board.
  • Several respondents mentioned a desire for “local” businesses, not big box stores, with many specifically referencing the grocery store and coffee shop.
  • The most important considerations expressed associated with planning for the commercial centre and increased people in the area, were the need for adequate parking and associated traffic improvements.

A further breakdown of feedback organized by each question can be viewed by following this link.

WHAT’S NEXT

All input will be considered to inform final development of the land-use application that will then follow the City of Colwood legislated land-use decision-making process through the Spring of 2020.

Information about public engagement efforts to date and what has been presented and heard can be found by following this link

You can view a PDF of the full “What We Heard” report by following this link.