Unity Commons is a forward-thinking rental residential development that includes the subsidization of a purpose-built community space.
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.
A purpose-built Sanctuary space for the Fairfield United congregation and more broadly, a space for community worship, cultural events and connection.
Café and outdoor gathering space in a busy but underserviced neighbourhood.
At four storeys, the height of Unity Commons is not as high as the peak of the existing church. The fourth storey is required to subsidize the purpose-built Sanctuary, which will be the new home of Fairfield United. The Sanctuary will also function as new community space inviting interfaith worship, and cultural and community use.
The draft Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan supports increased density that is sensitive to neighbourhoods and the encouragement of thriving commercial corners. An amendment to the Official Community Plan is required from City of Victoria for this redevelopment.
The OCP amendment for Unity Commons under Large Urban Village designation does not trigger zoning for higher density urban residential housing in the neighbourhoods around the Church, 1303 Fairfield Rd.
Language in the OCP is the assurance that this is not possible. Even though Unity Commons must seek approval under Large Urban Village designation, residential housing within a 400m radius of the Church cannot be classified as urban residential because Fairfield Road is not an arterial or secondary arterial Street.
If Fairfield Road was an arterial or a secondary arterial street, we would be allowed to seek approval to build our 4th storey within the Small Urban Village designation. We would not need the OCP amendment.
See the City of Victoria’s OCP sections 6.1.6 and 6.1.7 here.