UVic putting final touches on campus plan

Community associations applaud consultation process

Neil Connelly and the University of Victoria campus planning and sustainability department launched the updated Campus Plan Draft. The draft is now open to public review until Nov. 4. It provides a vision

The University of Victoria is currently engaging the public one last time as it prepares to finalize its 10-year draft campus plan.

Traffic, parking and student resident issues are ongoing and will likely earn a chunk of the final discussion as local community associations have been invited to weigh in on the final 2015 updates on the 2003 plan. It already underwent thorough public review with 1,000 interactions during Phase 1, January to March of 2015.

Feedback on the current draft is welcome until Nov. 4.

“At every stage of our consultations, we received reasoned, engaged and enthusiastic input from a broad range of people,” said Dr. Valerie Kuehne, a UVic vice-president who co-chairs the planning committee.

The draft plan details UVic’s campus vision for the next 10 years and beyond. It focuses on open spaces, land use/built forms and mobility.

An open house was held Wednesday as well as a workshop with members of the Community Association Liaison Committee, which was created to interact with UVic. CALC is built from members of the community associations abutting UVic, or are influenced indirectly, such as Quadra/Cedar Hill, which is clogged during peak hours with UVic-related traffic.

“It’s a very positive relationship with UVic,” said Bob Hart, who represents the Gordon Head Community Association on CALC. “We have our issues with non-residential parking and additional traffic but it’s a very improved process, very positive.”

It’s been a more positive experience ever since UVic improved its consultation process during the early planning stages of the Centre for Athletic, Recreation and Special Abilities.

John Schmuck is the president of the Quadra/Cedar Hill Community Association and is a co-chair of CALC. He said traffic is the only reason his organization joined CALC.

“We don’t really have the issues some of the neighbouring communities do, such as student residents leaving ‘free furniture’ on the road,” Schmuck said.

“When I lobby UVic, it’s to get cars off the road. We want people on the buses, especially McKenzie at the peak hours 8 to 9:30 a.m., but we still have problems getting that many buses on at that period.”

That said, UVic has addressed several issues through cycling infrastructure and bus passes, Schmuck added, but there’s still room to improve to get more of the commuting students, faculty and staff out of their cars.

To learn more about the draft campus plan visit uvic.ca/campusplanning.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com