For information and queries relating to Building for the Future please e-mail BFTF@christchurchcathedral.bc.ca
We hope you will join us in this renewed mission both in your prayers and monetary support. Thank you!
Update - January 2024
The pre-application consultation period through the City of Victoria development tracker, the CALUC process, and other engagement events provided the project team the opportunity to learn additional community concerns and ideas. Many of these are reflected in the current and will be reflected in the updated plans submitted to the City in early 2024. Below provides additional information to some of the primary questions or clarifications we received.
2. Heritage – what are the priorities for this project and how are you addressing the buildings on the site?
3. Christ Church Cathedral School
January 28 will be the next public meeting at the Cathedral Parish for all who are interested in learning more about the final submission and what the process with the City looks like going forward.
3. The project remains on the original schedule that each phase will be realized with a development and building permit, with the first phase of construction beginning at the earliest in 3-4 years.
- The Reverend Canon Ian Powell, Chair of the Steering Committee
Update - October, 2023
BFTF October Website Update
During the fall engagement activities focusing on the site and building concepts, we received feedback from a variety of stakeholders and participants. The Project Team wanted to share the primary takeaways and provide responses to some of the questions that arose during this engagement period.
A reminder that the Community Association Land Use Committee will be receiving the proposal on November 27, 2023 at 7pm at their meeting, after which time all comments received to date will be considered in the final package submitted to the City early in 2024. A Cathedral parish and public update on the project will occur after the Sunday service on January 28, 2024.
1. Process and Approval Questions
a. What approval are we seeking from the City right now?
This project is seeking a master rezoning approval from the City of Victoria. This involves changes to the land use of the site, such as making it possible for the Precinct to have housing, additional commercial activities, and increasing community space.
b. What will a rezoning approval provide?
Through this approval, a master or phased development agreement most likely will be undertaken with the City; this provides certainty to the City on the design and planning principles the Precinct is seeking and clarity on form and character to be realized through phased redevelopment over many years.
c. What happens in Phase 3?
The rezoning is Phase 2 of Building for the Future. This phase is not seeking approvals for a specific building or phase at this time – rather Phase 3 is when development and building permits will be sought when appropriate partners, market conditions, and funding for more detailed design and business plans are completed.
2. Financial Sustainability Questions
a. What is the financial goal of this rezoning and overall process?
One of the primary goals of this project is to support the Precinct in long-term financial and social sustainability. The phased approach to realizing project partners provides the opportunity to be proactive versus reactive in taking on development partnerships; earlier in Phase One, for example, requests for interest were solicited to the development community. Through that process, a variety of potential partners were identified to help realize different phases of the project. These potential partners remain part of the internal conversation and have been consulted with throughout Phase One and Two.
b. Why does doing this work in phases make sense?
Taking the phased approached of leading a rezoning and not doing development concurrently, the Diocese is managing cost and time risks; the City, stakeholders and political climate is increasingly supportive of non-profit and community-led Owners taking the lead on their future to ensure their lands and assets, including heritage assets, are retained in community hands.
c. How does this impact the value of our land?
Upon rezoning, the land will be valued at a new rate from what it currently is; this in turn provides the Diocese with increased potential value to borrow against, should it need it, and to negotiate the value during future development partnerships. The Diocese is committed to retaining ownership of the land itself, and any development partnership will seek both cash, long-term revenue, and potentially a portion of building space or ownership for the Diocese.
d. Do we know how value will be realized?
Additional cost analysis are undertaken through a 'land lift analysis' that occurs through the City process with proponent input; throughout this process to date, the Project Team has consulting with land economists on what this lift may look like (cost per square foot of potential space of residential, commercial, etc) to ensure what we are seeking approval for adds the most balanced long term value to the Precinct.
e. When will money start to be realized?
When market opportunities present themselves through the development community, and when conditions are appropriate for both capital (cash) and long-term revenue to be realized, each phase will be undertaken. The financial sustainability of the Diocese and the Cathedral in particular – given its significant heritage value but also significant upgrades needed – is at the heart of this work. That will ensure all users of the site, such as the School, will be secure in their ability to remain on the Precincts.
f. Will this have an impact on property taxes?
The Precinct key stakeholders, as done historically, will always continue to seek property tax exemption for their ministry uses on the Precinct. As new uses are built, such as residential, those specific uses will be taxed at a new rate, and paid for when those uses are realized. The rezoning will not impact the exemptive status that current Precinct tenants and Owners have been realizing.
3. School Questions
a. What role does the School have in this process?
The School has remained a primary stakeholder at the Building for the Future table. They have undertaken their own functional program analysis and started the process of planning for their own future, based on their current business case.
b. What are the future plans for the School?
The School, once it retains a new head over the course of the next year, will be undertaking their own parallel future visioning work; the Diocese and School meanwhile are working on an updated lease that provides certainty and flexibility for the short and long term needs of both parties.
4. Where has the money spent to date gone?
a. Due Diligence - Much of Phase One was spent on 'due diligence' which is ensuring as an Owner, the Diocese is aware of all the challenges and opportunities on the site from a physical perspective. This included the geotechnical, seismic, environmental, arborist, and heritage work undertaken. This baseline work is crucial to be an informed land Owner, and more fully understand how the site plays into development and associated costs. This work has also focused on:
b. Rezoning costs -The costs of rezoning are the smallest portion of the development process; the development permit to building permit requires significant architect and engineering costs. These costs will be shared or borne by our development partners as each phase of development occurs.
5. Community Engagement Clarifications
a. We have received many positive comments on the conceptual site plans and heard there is a general understanding of the rationale for the rezoning and therefore the density or height being sought.
b. There is a general understanding also of the phased nature of this work, and that it will be realized over many years – as all Cathedrals and master plans are!
c. The Project Team has worked hard, through existing and new relationship building, to keep various community members informed, up to date, and to manage the flow and content of technical information. This includes ongoing dialogue with the following key groups who have a formal 'say' in the approval process:
i. Council – Mayor and Council have been walked around the Precinct, some have attended various services and presentations, and engaged in ongoing dialogue with the Project Team.
ii. City staff – many different City staff have collaborated with the Team during Phase one and two, including co-hosting design charrettes at the Cathedral with city staff, Project Team members, and our adjacent development Owners (the YMCA, PARC Residence, Mt. Saint Angela, etc.).
iii. Community Association – the Fairfield and Downtown Community Associations have been engaged informally and formally, and will continue to be through the appropriate channels required by the City rezoning process. - The Reverend Canon Ian Powell, Chair of the Steering Committee
Update - September, 2023
The presentation by Wiser Projects made at the Cathedral on Sunday, September 24, is available to view HERE.
The latest site design and massing concepts for the Cathedral Precinct, as presented by FaulkerBrowns Architects on September 24, are available HERE.
On Sunday June 11, 2023, 94 parish members participated in a Building For The Future
information and engagement session. An update was provided on where the master plan for
the Christ Church Cathedral precinct has been, and where we will be going next.
Parish members were invited to fill out a survey and return it to the Cathedral offices. A summary of the responses received can be viewed HERE.
In December of this year, the project team will be submitting a rezoning application to the City of Victoria. In preparation of this submission, we invite you to attend the upcoming information sessions and Community Association Land Use Committee (CALUC) meetings listed below. The purpose of these information sessions is to provide the community with opportunities to learn about the Christ Church Cathedral Master Plan. We are excited to share the plans with you and hear your feedback. All of the following information sessions and Community Association Land Use Committee Meetings are open to the public. If you require additional information or assistance attending these events, please contact email@example.com.
Fall 2023 Information Sessions
Community Association Land Use Committee Meetings
Community Association Land Use Committee (CALUC) Community Meetings are a requirement of the rezoning submission. The CALUC meeting is hosted in the neighbourhood in which the proposed development is located – in this case, Fairfield. The role of the CALUC is to hold a community meeting, facilitate conversation among attendees, and prepare a letter for the City of Victoria that summarizes the application, and any questions/comments made by the community. To learn more about the Fairfield CALUC visit their website here: https://fairfieldcommunity.ca/caluc/
Please read the Phase Two report and summary available to download below:
Over the past three years, we have had countless discussions about the role and future of our cathedral, our cathedral school, and our diocesan office, and about the kind of space we will need to accommodate our ministries. The fruits of these discussions have been shared with our planning consultants Kaeley Wiseman and Barb Myers from Wiser Projects. They, in turn, have done extensive research about current municipal plans and policies, as well as the appetite of local agencies and developers to work with us. They also engaged an architect, Paul Rigby, who has worked closely with us to assess the space on the precinct, with a view to the feasibility of making our cathedral, our school, and the rest of the precinct better serve our hopes and dreams.
Wiser Projects submitted a detailed “Phase One” report – which describes their findings, and the work we would need to do next to produce an actual “master plan” for the cathedral precinct. The report is available to download here:
REMINDER - If you have a question that hasn't been answered, make sure to submit it to BFTF@christchurchcathedral.bc.ca