TREE HOUSE

LISA HOPELESS – Item D on tonight’s agenda concerns a proposal to develop the corner of Moss and Richardson. I’d like to call on the developer, Mr. Small, to walk us through his plans for the site.

MR. SMALL – Thank-you, Madame Mayor. I must say you’re looking particularly fetching this evening. The haircut might be a little butchier than I’d prefer, but this is Victoria, after all, so one must make allowances. That aside, if you would like to all look up at the screen, I present to you The Tree House, a small thirteen story complex guaranteed to rejuvenate Fairfield and turn it into the swinging hot spot that it was always meant to be.

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – Isn’t there a substantial red cedar on the property?

MR. SMALL – The plan is to turn the tree into shingles and incorporate it into the design of the building.

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – But the cedar is nearly two hundred years old!

MR. SMALL – Which is why my arborist is concerned that it might be vulnerable in a windstorm. We all know how important safe spaces are to the mayor. A falling tree, especially one of such magnitude, can hardly be considered safe, can it now?

COUNCILLOR JOE THORNTON – Neighbours are concerned that the new building will cast a substantial shadow over the surrounding single-family residences.

MR, SMALL – Let me assure you, that will be the least of their worries. Just wait until they hear the noise coming from the ground floor brewpub.

COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – A brewpub!

MR. SMALL – With over 365 craft brews on tap.

COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – That’s a new beer for every day of the year!

MR. SMALL – Chalk up another enthusiastic supporter.

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – But do the plans in any way address the city’s need for affordable housing?

MR. SMALL – As you well know, Councillor Bullshit, the word affordable is open to interpretation. The condos will be selling for a million to a million-five each, which is well within reach of foreign investors or Vancouver residents who have cashed in their chips and intend to join the land rush to the Island.

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – But what about locals who seek to live and work downtown?

MR. SMALL – The design includes a caretaker’s suite which will rent at below market rate.

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – Below market rate housing! In that case you can count me in.

COUNCILLOR COALMAN – What about parking?

MR. SMALL – There will be underground parking with space for three stalls.

COUNCILLOR COALMAN – But your proposal calls for 52 condos.

MR. SMALL – We would hope—especially in light of the mayor’s cycling initiatives—that residents would be encouraged to use active transportation whenever possible.

LISA HOPELESS – So the plan is in fact green.

MR. SMALL – Toxic green.

COUNCILLOR ALTERNATIVE REALITY – I think it’s worth noting that the OCP calls for densification along city corridors. While some might argue that Moss Street is not a corridor, with this many units, and no parking, it will be soon enough.

MR. SMALL – I couldn’t have said it better myself.