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Council Meeting – May 16th!

CPA will be presenting their petition at the View Royal Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 16th, which starts at 7 pm. If you live in View Royal, or even the Greater Victoria area, please consider attending this meeting. A public hearing regarding the Christie Point Rezoning application is expected as early as June, and every council meeting leading up to – and including – it is critical at this point.

The meeting includes a public participation period, where you have three minutes to stand up and voice your support for the petition as well as any concerns you have regarding the Christie Point Redevelopment proposal. It’s important for Mayor and Council to hear your opinions, so they can make their own informed decisions when the time comes. But if you don’t wish to speak, no worries – your physical presence sends out a powerful message all on its own. If you object to the Christie Point redevelopment proposal as it now stands, please come out to show your support for CPA’s petition.

Please sign the petition ASAP if you have not already, and share it with your friends, neighbours, relatives, and colleagues.

Thank you!

Council Meeting – April 18th

This month’s View Royal Council meeting includes a peer review report of Realstar’s Transportation Impact Assessment. The meeting is on Tuesday, April 18th, starting at 7 pm.

The report is included in the meeting’s Agenda on the View Royal website, and you can download it here: 2017 04 18 Council Agenda – Agenda – Pdf. The peer review report and assessment begin on page 17 of this document. Please take some time to review this info, if you possibly can, and attend the meeting on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately the public participation period is scheduled to occur before the report is given, so it’s up to us to review it ahead of time in order to voice concerns raised from it as well as the town staff’s assessment of it.

Hope to see you there!

CFAX Interview with CPA

Melanie Molloy Speaks with Mark Brennae on “The Drive” 

In an attempt to get as many people out to View Royal’s special Committee of the Whole meeting tonight, Christie Point Advocates sent out a press release on Tuesday, encouraging the highest attendance possible.

CFAX interviewed CPA organizer Melanie Molloy regarding the meeting and Realstar’s plan for the Christie Point redevelopment. You can listen here:


For more Media coverage of Christie Point Advocates and the Christie Point Redevelopment plan, please visit our Resources Page.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Christie Point Advocates
Email: christiepointadvocates@gmail.com
Date: February 14th, 2017

Christie Point Advocates Encourage Attendance at View Royal Committee Meeting

View Royal, BC — Christie Point Advocates, a working group calling for a responsible and inclusive redevelopment of Christie Point, encourage residents, neighbours, and other concerned parties to attend View Royal’s special Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) meeting on Wednesday, February 15th at 7 pm at the Songhees Wellness Center.

Christie Point is a 161-unit, 2-storey apartment rental complex located in View Royal, BC. Toronto-based owner, Realstar Management, has submitted a rezoning application to the Town of View Royal. Realstar intends to redevelop the complex into 473 units, with buildings ranging from 4-6 storeys. Christie Point Advocates are concerned about displacement, affordability, and increased traffic to the area, amongst other topics.

This special Committee of the Whole meeting includes a public participation segment where people can express their concerns regarding the redevelopment. As Christie Point Advocates state on their website, “when any form of development plan is proposed, it is crucial for all points to be considered and all voices to be heard before any major decisions are made.” According to spokesperson Lisa Cole, “This meeting is the perfect opportunity for people to show up and speak up regarding the project – while they still can.” For more information on Christie Point Advocates, please visit www.christiepointadvocates.com.

Committee of the Whole Meeting

View Royal Committee of the Whole – Special Meeting to Discuss the Christie Point Redevelopment Application

Just announced! There will be a special View Royal Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) meeting on Wednesday, February 15th at 7pm, dedicated to the Christie Point Redevelopment application.

The meeting will take place at the Songhees Wellness Centre (1100 Admirals Road), in the gymnasium.

Please visit the Town of View Royal website or call 250-479-6800 for more details. The Agenda is now available for the meeting.

Hope to see you there!

Tenant Protection & Relocation

January 31, 2017

Heather Grey-Wolf
c/o: Realstar Management
77 Bloor Street West, Suite 2000
Toronto, ON M5S 1M2

Dear Ms. Grey-Wolf:

Please find attached proposed Tenant Protection and Relocation Guidelines in reference to Realstar’s rezoning application submitted December 16, 2016 to the Town of View Royal.

The guidelines are based on a policy applied in Vancouver’s rezoning and redevelopment process in order to assess and approve development applications. This policy was designed in response to the low vacancy rental climate, and actions of developers that caused unnecessary hardship on vulnerable renters who faced substantial, and unattainable, rental increases due to redevelopment projects. Additional background can be found here:

http://www.mayorofvancouver.ca/news/council-approves-new-protections-vancouver-renters

While the Capital Region District and Town of View Royal do not have a formal policy for developers to follow, there is widespread community concern for the fate of the large number of Christie Point renters. We, the Christie Point Advocates Working Group, believe these concerns necessitate formal adherence to the attached guidelines in order to ensure existing tenants’ protection.

Christie Point Advocates recognize the tenant relocation package offered by Realstar to date includes actions which exceed minimum standards required by the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA). However, the region’s extremely low vacancy rate, high market rental rates, the proposal’s phased development and lack of 3-bedroom options for tenants create concerns that are not addressed by Realstar’s current proposed relocation coverage.

It is our hope that the attached guidelines will be used by Realstar to ensure existing tenants are able to remain in any new development, or be ethically and responsibly transitioned out of the property in a manner which takes into consideration the involuntarily move tenants may be forced to make to facilitate Realstar’s project.

A copy of this letter and guidelines has been shared with the Mayor and Councillors of the Town of View Royal, as well as posted to our blog at www.christiepointadvocates.com.

Comments from Realstar are encouraged. We look forward to working with Realstar and the Town of View Royal to ensure Christie Point tenants are protected during all phases of Realstar’s proposed redevelopment.

Sincerely,

Melanie Molloy
On behalf of Christie Point Advocates Working Group
1.0 Intent

The Town of View Royal is requested to use these guidelines to assess rezoning and development permit applications for Christie Point Apartments complex and property, where tenants will be highly impacted or displaced due to major renovation or redevelopment. A Tenant Relocation Plan will be required when eligible tenants in existing residential rental units are displaced as a result of redevelopment or major renovation activity by the applicant (Realstar) as described below.

2.0 Renovations that Could Result in Tenant Displacement:

A Tenant Relocation Plan will be required for all redevelopment or renovation activity that results in tenant eviction, if the proposed project requires a rezoning or development permit. The following are examples of the types of renovations that could result in tenant relocation. It is not a complete list, but is intended to provide guidance to the applicant and tenants.

  • New construction;
  • Adding, relocating, or removing walls in units that change the floor plan;
  • Increasing or reducing the number and type of units in a rental building;
  • Upgrading rooms (e.g. kitchen and bathroom floor finishing, painting or tiling);
  • Installing fire sprinkler systems linked to multiple units in a rental building;
  • Extensive repairs to units that have been damaged by fire or flooding;
  • Demolishing buildings that house tenants in rental units; and
  • The discovery of asbestos or other contaminants during renovations and/or demolition.

3.0 Tenant Relocation Plan

At a minimum, every Tenant Relocation Plan should be created by an appointed third-party Tenant Relations Officer paid for by the applicant and agreed to by the Town of View Royal and Christie Point Advocates, and include:

  1. A list setting out the name of each tenant, the number of the tenant’s unit, the length of occupancy, the unit type, the size of the unit, and the rent the tenant pays at the time the rezoning application is submitted.
  2. Details regarding tenant’s current rent at the time the rezoning application is submitted, proposed rent if remaining during construction phase, and agreed-upon rent in new development unit.
  3. Financial compensation provided based on length of tenancy:
  • 4 months’ rent for tenancies up to 4 years;
  • 6 months’ rent for tenancies between 5 to 9 years;
  • 10 months’ rent for tenancies over 10 years; and
  • 12 months’ rent for tenancies over 20 years.

This can take the form of free rent, a lump sum payment or a combination of both.

      (d)  Vulnerable tenants (seniors, persons with disabilities, tenants with low income, mental

health issues, single parents and children) shall have the first option to move out under

the same conditions noted herein whether they return to the newly developed rentals or not;

      (e)  A minimum of 6 months’ notice to end tenancies after all permits have been issued;

      (f)  For tenants requiring assistance finding new accommodations:

  • Three options should be offered that are comparable in unit type, unless otherwise agreed to;
  • All options should be in the Greater Victoria and Western Communities areas, (with one option within 5km of  the same neighbourhood), unless otherwise agreed to;
  • All options should rent at no more than Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s average rents for the area;
  • Include at least two alternate options within 2.5% of the tenant’s current rent at the time the rezoning application was submitted;
  • All options offered should be comparable in unit type, unless otherwise agreed to;
  • Where possible, options should be tailored to the tenant (e.g. pet friendly, mobility considerations, smoke-free, etc.); and
  • In cases involving vulnerable tenants, the applicant is encouraged to provide additional supports as per section (j) below.

Note: If a tenant’s current rent is higher than CHMC average rents for the area, alternate

accommodation options will be provided at the tenant’s current rental rate at the time the rezoning application is submitted.

     (g)  Arrangement for an insured moving company, or a flat rate payout for moving expenses,  

per move, as follows:

  • $750 for bachelor and 1-bedroom households; and
  • $1,000 for two or more bedroom households.

     Note: If a tenant opts to remain at Christie Point after construction, the flat rate payout

for moving expenses will be paid twice to facilitate initial and subsequent moves in

and/or out of the property.

     (h)  Right of first refusal, at no more than 2.5% increase over the tenant’s current rental rate

at the time the rezoning application is submitted.

      Note: If a tenant’s current rent at the time the rezoning application is submitted is higher

than the proposed market rent level, the Right of First Refusal will be provided at the

tenant’s current rental rate at the time the rezoning application is submitted.

      (i)  A 75% reduction in rent for tenants remaining in existing and new units during the

construction period for all buildings.

      (j)  Additional support:

  • Town Staff will have discretion to request that additional financial compensation or support be provided to vulnerable tenants (e.g. seniors, persons with disabilities, tenants with low income, mental health issues, single parents and children, etc.);
  • Additional supports may include hiring a housing consultant to assist individual tenants, additional funds for moving expenses, and/or working with non-profit agencies to offer alternative accommodation;
  • For tenants without an able-bodied adult in the household, assistance with packing will be provided by the applicant;
  • Disconnection and reconnection of hydro, internet, telephone and cable services for initial and subsequent moves; and
  • Mail forwarding for up to 6 months for initial and subsequent moves.

       (k) The applicant will order tests for asbestos in every building prior to any work

commencing on the property.  Tenants are to be notified immediately of the asbestos

results. In the event that asbestos is found the applicant will locate and provide paid accommodation for affected tenants, including moving expenses.  

Said accommodation shall be of the same quality as current premises or better, shall

include a kitchenette for cooking and $100.00 in grocery cards per month per 2 tenants, and $100.00 per month per 2 tenants in pre-paid credit cards. Should kitchenette accommodation not be available the applicant will provide a minimum of $100.00 per week per person towards  dining out meals, and $100.00 per month per 2 tenants pre-paid credit cards. Said accommodation and stipends will continue until such time as tenants can relocate or return to their new premises.

4.0 Final Tenant Relocation Report

Prior to the issuance of the occupancy permit, a Final Tenant Relocation Report must be submitted and include:

  • Names of tenants eligible for the Tenant Relocation Plan;
  • Outcome of their search for accommodation;
  • A summary of the monetary value given to each tenant (e.g. moving costs, rent, etc.); and
  • Details regarding tenant’s current rent at the time the rezoning application is submitted, proposed rent if remaining during construction phase and agreed upon rent in new development unit.

5.0 Eligible Tenants

Regardless of the type of tenancy, all tenants residing in the building at the time the rezoning or development permit application is opened must be included in the Tenant Relocation Plan.

A tenant who has not resided in the property long enough to be an Eligible Tenant, which is a tenant who moves into the property after the rezoning or development permit application is opened, is not required to (but at the applicant’s option, may) be included in the Tenant Relocation Plan. Exclusion from the Tenant Relocation Plan is only permitted if the rezoning and/or redevelopment was disclosed to the tenant prior to moving into the property. This disclosure by the applicant must be incorporated into the lease agreements for new tenants and included in support of tenants’ exclusion from the Tenant Relocation Plan.

In any event, the applicant is required to comply with the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) with respect to all tenants (whether Eligible Tenants or not) and with the Tenant Relocation Plan (with respect to Eligible Tenants). Since the Tenant Relocation Plan has requirements which supplement those in the RTA, compliance with the Tenant Relocation Plan will automatically make the applicant compliant with the RTA. However, it is the applicant’s obligation to ensure that any specific notice, forms, or other documentary requirements specific to the RTA are complied with regardless of whether or not they are dealing with an Eligible Tenant.

The applicant should provide written communication apprising all non-Eligible Tenants of the redevelopment, and why they are not entitled to the Tenant Relocation Plan package, including modifying any rental advertisements to state redevelopment is planned for the property.

6.0 Ending Tenancies

Under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), there are two ways to end tenancies – a Notice to End Tenancy or a Mutual Agreement to End Tenancy. A Notice to End Tenancy can be issued once all permits and necessary approvals are in place. This typically includes the development permit, building permit, all applicable trades permits, and the demolition permit. As above, the applicant will be required to provide 6 months’ notice to end tenancies once all permits have been issued. The owner can also use a Mutual Agreement to End Tenancy, where the owner/landlord and tenant agrees to the terms in which a tenancy is ended. At a minimum, Tenant Relocation Plan requirements described above regarding free rent, moving expenses, alternate accommodation, special circumstances and right of first refusal, as defined above, must still be offered to eligible tenants in these cases.

No later than upon acceptance of the rezoning application by Town of View Royal the applicant must give all new tenants notice of pending redevelopment in writing  and upon the new tenant accepting and entering into a new contract to lease, said lease shall be no more than 6 months in duration, thereafter rent will be on a month-to-month basis.  

7.0 Submission Requirements

This section describes the tenant relocation submission process and the documentation required. For projects where a Tenant Relocation Plan is required:

  1. A Tenant Relocation Plan must be submitted with every rezoning or development permit application. All tenants must be included, although the Tenant Relocation Plan requirements will only apply to eligible tenants as described above.
  2. Early communication with tenants is essential. For rezonings, the applicant is encouraged to communicate in writing with tenants at the start of the inquiry stage. The objective is to inform tenants about the intent to redevelop and provide information on the process and timelines involved. For development permits, the applicant is encouraged to begin written communication with tenants when the application is opened. Note: Notices to End Tenancies are not to be issued at this stage.

       (c) The Tenant Relocation Plan will be evaluated by Town Staff during the rezoning and

development permit process. Once the Plan has been agreed to by the applicant and

Town Staff, with discussion and input from Christie Point Advocates,the applicant should communicate the terms of the Tenant Relocation Plan to all eligible tenants. A notarized declaration must be submitted to the Town of View Royal demonstrating that each tenant has been given written notice of the intent to redevelop the property, the number of units occupied on the date of the notice, and which includes copies of a letter addressed to each tenant summarizing the Tenant Relocation Plan offer and signed as received by each tenant.

     (i)   A Final Tenant Relocation Report, as outlined above, must be submitted prior to

the issuance of the occupancy permit.

     (ii)  Legal Agreements – where the right of first refusal is offered, rental increases of

            no more than 2.5% of the tenant’s current rent at the time the rezoning

application is submitted should be offered:

  • In these cases, the rental units and the right of first refusal will be secured through legal agreements for a term of 60 years or life of the building, whichever is greater; and
  • Yearly rental increases will adhere to rates set by the Government of British Columbia.

8.0 Tenant Impact Statement

In cases where tenants will not be permanently displaced as a result of rezoning or development, applicants will be requested to provide a Tenant Impact Statement.

A Tenant Impact Statement will be notarized and include a declaration that tenancies will not be impacted as a result of the proposed work. If the scope of work changes at any time and permanent displacement of tenants becomes necessary, applicants will be requested to provide a permanent tenant relocation plan as described in Section 3.

Communication with tenants: a pre-condition by the applicant is to provide written communication with tenants during the permitting process with information on the proposed project, as well as to inform them that tenancies will not be disrupted.  Communication is to be made by way of written notice hand delivered, email to tenants who request this type of mailing, and notice on www.christiepoint.ca website.

Upcoming Meetings with Realstar

Meet with Realstar – February 1st and 2nd, 2017!


Realstar Management has confirmed with Christie Point Advocates that they will hold the following meetings next week.

We encourage all interested to attend the appropriate meeting:

Open House/Drop-In for Christie Point Residents

WHEN: Wednesday February 1 from 2 to 6 PM
WHERE: 
Social Room at Christie Point

Public Open House for General Public

WHEN: Thursday February 2 from 4 to 6 pm
WHERE: 
Songhees Wellness Centre, 1100 Admirals Rd

Christie Point Advocates have offered to compile a list of questions to forward to Realstar’s VP Development, Heather Grey-Wolf, in advance of the resident meeting.

Please send your questions to christiepointadvocates@gmail.com by Sunday, January 29th at midnight. A copy of the compiled questions will be shared with the Town Council and Realstar via email before the resident meeting.

CFAX Interview with CPA

CFAX Interviews Christie Point Advocates

Christie Point Redevelopment Opposition Mounting

CFAX interviewed CPA organizer Melanie Molloy today regarding Realstar’s plan for the Christie Point redevelopment as well as the concerns of residents and neighbours. There was only enough time for three call-ins (two residents and one neighbour), with a line-up of more callers waiting to be heard.

The show was a short one, but jam-packed with critical information!

More air time is needed due to public interest.

Listen here.

For more Media coverage of Christie Point Advocates and the Christie Point Redevelopment plan, please visit our Resources Page.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Christie Point Advocates
Email: christiepointadvocates@gmail.com
Date: January 16th, 2017

Christie Point Advocates Launch Website

View Royal, BC — Christie Point Advocates, a working group calling for a responsible and inclusive redevelopment of Christie Point, announce the launch of their new website: www.christiepointadvocates.com. The website is an online community resource which also includes a survey and a petition.

Christie Point is a 161-unit, 2-storey apartment rental complex located in View Royal, BC. Toronto-based owner, Realstar Management, has submitted a rezoning application to the Town of View Royal. Realstar intends to redevelop the complex into 473 units, with buildings ranging from 4-6 storeys. Christie Point Advocates are concerned about displacement, affordability, and increased traffic to the area, amongst other topics.

Christie Point Advocates “seek a viable dialogue with Realstar and the View Royal Town Council – one that will genuinely address the considerations at hand – so that residents, the immediate environment, and the surrounding neighbourhood are properly protected throughout the redevelopment process.”

Christie Point Advocates are also encouraging View Royal residents to attend the View Royal Town Council meeting on Tuesday, January 17th at 7 pm, where they will be speaking about Realstar’s plan and their concerns regarding the project.

Urgent Request for Attendance

Christie Point Advocates is pleased to share that View Royal Town Council has accepted our request to speak to them about Realstar’s proposed rezoning and redevelopment plans.

We will appear before Council and Mayor Screech on Tuesday January 17th at 7 pm at the View Royal Town Hall.

This is an important meeting. It is strongly encouraged that all Christie Point and Portage Inlet residents attend. Please arrive early.

There are 3 reasons you need to be there:

1. A big crowd shows Council the issue matters to the community
2. To speak to Council directly about your concerns
3. Realstar is not on the agenda: WE are.

Many of us have not attended a Council meeting before. Don’t let that stop you. If you don’t want to talk, that’s fine…but you are needed there as a show of support.

We can give you tips on how to best phrase your concerns if you aren’t sure what to say. Please email christiepointadvocates@gmail.com if you need help.

How does the meeting work?

Anyone can comment during Public Participation Period. This happens right after our presentation at 7 pm:

1. Announce your name and address
2. Share your thoughts
3. Keep it short. You may want to tell everyone everything you think about the project. To be honest – that isn’t helpful during this meeting.

Here are some tips to make sure Council and Mayor Screech listen to you:

 

1. Pick one issue that matters to you
2. Get to the point: people will tune out if you rant
3. Ask a specific question: council can try to get an answer from Realstar
4. Don’t repeat the same points as everyone else: if someone made a really great comment and stole your thunder, just say you agree with that person and comment on something else you care about
5. Be respectful: Mayor Screech and the Councillors are ordinary people who live in this community and are just doing their job
6. Know your stuff: read Realstar’s plans or at least the one issue you care about; review our Considerations page, or check out some coverage on our Resources page

 

Here’s an example of what you might say:

My name is Jane Smith. I live at 123 Craigowan Road. I’m a resident of Christie Point and am concerned about emergency access to our complex if the zoning is changed to allow 6 storeys and 473 units. That’s a lot more people to serve and still only one road in. 
 
How will a fire truck with the right-sized ladder for a high-rise be able to get into the complex through our narrow entryway? How long will it take them to get to the far end of the complex? 
 
I would appreciate it if Council would consider these questions when reviewing Realstar’s application and plans.

Thank you for your time.

What now?

1. Share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter – use #protectChristiePoint
2. RSVP to our Facebook group event
3. Invite everyone you know
4. Offer to drive a neighbour
5. Write one thing you would say to Council
6. Write one question you have for Council
7. Arrive early!

This is your community. Your opinion and participation matter!

We can help arrange carpools if you need a ride. Please email christiepointadvocates@gmail.com if you need any help.

See you there!