Saanich teams with Victoria on gas tax funding application

Changes to Douglas at the heart of planning process

Saanich and Victoria councils are hoping for a $1 million grant to help them plan for a new-and-improved Douglas Street corridor.

Saanich council last week unanimously supported a joint application with the City of Victoria seeking federal gas tax money from the Union of B.C. Municipalities to conduct “community planning work” on Douglas.

“The outcome for citizens is the two municipalities are working together on a project that would be seamless on land-use and transportation, and that’s obviously a good thing,” Mayor Frank Leonard said.

There is $3.8 million up for grabs through the gas tax fund, but there are no guarantees the joint application will receive a cent.

“This planning grant is what I call the jump ball file. Lots of people put in for proposals, and hopefully the best ones get the funding,” Leonard said.

He’s optimistic and hopeful the Douglas corridor project will prove regionally significant enough to attract the funding.

If it doesn’t, however, a planning process will still have to happen, albeit a scaled-down version.

“At the end of the day, the outcomes need to be the same. The planning objectives need to remain steadfast,” said Coun. Dean Murdock. “(With or without the grant), we need to plan for that corridor and look for the opportunities for environmental, social and economic benefits.”

Murdock says the challenge in issuing a joint application is that needs-wise, Saanich and Victoria are very different places when it comes to Douglas Street.

By determining the similarities and differences in terms of what each municipality is looking to get out of a comprehensive planning process, that will help shape what the process itself looks like, Murdock said.

Saanich planner Sharon Hvozdanski couldn’t say how much Saanich has already set aside to spend on the study if the grant application is unsuccessful.

“We have some money set aside for this study. Obviously given the importance of the corridor and the neighbourhoods, we would significantly benefit from additional funds to do more,” she said.

Applications were due on May 31. There is no word on when the UBCM will announce the grant recipients.

Victoria council supported the joint application at its May 24 meeting.

 

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

Several hundred SD 62 students team up to clean the shoreline

Effort aimed at keeping Esquimalt and Albert Head Lagoon trash-free

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Most Read