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15 one, two and three-bedroom rental apartments (covenanted for rental use in perpetuity). To help a family with affordability, the 3-bedroom unit will be offered at 30% of the gross household income for a moderate income family. 

Energy Efficient Environmental Design

Unity Commons responds broadly to the complex needs of the community in thoughtful, deliberate and meaningful ways that contribute to the environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability of our community.

In the spring of 2018 the City of Victoria required that new construction meet Step One of the new BC Energy Step Code noting that by 2020, Step Three would be required. The implementation of the new progressive building code means that buildings are more energy efficient through design and materials utilization. Unity Commons will be built to Step Three specifications. The energy-efficient building design encourages a simple compact form with a low ratio of surface to volume and balances that imperative by varying the massing for urban design interest. The design allows for optimal energy efficiency which in turn contributes positively to the affordability needs of our residents who will live and work there.

Respect for privacy

Following engagement with the neighbourhood and working directly with our most immediate neighbours, we have extensively redesigned the project to address massing and privacy concerns. These changes include the introduction of clerestory windows which will allow light into the apartments but will provide no oversight of our neighbour’s home and yard.  We have also relocated and/or re-orientated balconies and refined privacy screens to further preserve privacy. We have increased the set back on the top floor to increase the design interest. This also softens sight lines of the fourth storey and again respects the privacy of our neighbours’ yards. 

Parking

Parking at Unity Commons will include:

  • 16 new underground parking stalls for 15 units; 8 of the stalls will be flex stalls for public use during the day

  • Provision for 20 secure bike stalls and 12 weather-protected bike stalls are to be near the residential and church sanctuary entrances.

The draft Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan supports projects that make it easier to leave our cars behind. Unity Commons’ proximity to downtown, bus routes and shopping areas makes it possible to not own a vehicle, which adds to the spectrum of affordability for families.

The Fairfield United Church has operated for a century without parking. The congregation has cooperative agreements for Sunday parking on an as needed basis with:

  • Fairfield Gonzales Community Association 

  • through School District 61 rentals, at the Sir James Douglas Elementary School location

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