Victoria council denied a rezoning application proposing a four-storey rental building on Burdett Avenue in Fairfield.
A large crowd gathered at City Hall on Thursday night to hear council discuss the proposal for a 44-unit structure on 1120 Burdett Ave. near Cook Street.
The Empresa Properties project was planned for lots currently occupied by three family homes. The company’s website states that the design of the building promises to “enhance the street’s urban fabric.” But not everyone agreed.
The proposal was met with an almost equal amount of supporters and opposition, many of whom took to the podium to share their opinions.
Those in favour of the project said the creation of these units would create more affordable housing options for students.
“I was thrilled to see a developer proposing a brand-new rental project just outside of the downtown core,” said a young IT worker, “it’s exactly the kind of place where I want to live until I can afford my own home.”
Opponents claimed the building would disrupt residents that are happily situated in the area.
“This proposed box will add nothing to the charm of this neighbourhood,” said one resident wearing a sweater emblazoned with ‘Empresa – Wrong fit for Burdett.’
“We are taking out several – seven, I believe, low-income rental suites to make room for this development. There has been no mention of anything to replace them,” she said. “I know the mayor is keen to have rental suites, but realistically, these new ones will not be low-income suites. Nor will they be big enough for families.”
Another resident claimed the proposed height and building requirements did not meet City requirements, squeezing too much density into a small area.
Four councillors supported the rezoning application while four were against. The application failed on a tied vote.