A Sensitive Infill Development
Protecting Valued Community Greenspace
Envisioned as a sensitive infill development, 1733-37 Fairfield Road is proposed as a range of townhomes and apartments, bringing greater housing diversity to an established neighbourhood with room to grow.
Fairfield and Gonzales contain a range of housing types, from heritage homes and bungalows to large estate homes and low-rise multi-family residential buildings. That being said, there is a historic undersupply of housing choice. Housing demand has continued to outpace supply forcing many families to look elsewhere for a place to call home.
Area Context map featuring subject site 1733-37 Fairfield Road and neighbourhood retail.
Due to the Gonzales neighbourhood being within walking distance of shops, schools, parks/beaches and health care facilities, it is a highly desirable place to live. The proximity to Hollywood Park, beaches, Fairfield Shopping Center, and health care facilities—as well as Fairfield Road being a transportation corridor—means that this is an ideal place for increased housing choice.
Although the area is predominantly zoned for ground-oriented single family homes, the neighbourhood directives outlined in the Official Community Plan envision the exploration of residential intensification opportunities in the areas in and around the Fairfield Shopping Centre Small Urban Village. Areas along the Fairfield Road corridor are particularly suitable for residential intensification since these sites are well connected to key transit routes while also being highly walkable and bike-friendly.
Our 1733-37 Fairfield Road proposal has been developed with the consideration of three key project pillars—defining elements responded to through design.
Right Homes in the Right Places
It is widely understood that homes should be located near existing services, amenities and other destinations. Locations like these are great candidates for more housing as they demonstrate an efficient use of urban infill land that avoids clearcutting forests in order to provide needed homes. The City’s policies speak to these trends with a whole host of strategies that aim to reduce car dependency, showcase climate leadership and promote diverse housing choice in existing neighbourhoods. Evolution of this proposal further emphasizes our dedication to this concept, as we have revised the unit mix to include a broader demographic of home buyers.
After receiving valuable feedback, we've worked hard to balance competing priorities to arrive at evidence-based planning and design solutions that will embrace the future potential and overall housing needs of our city.
We have heard concerns from the community about the lack of diversity in housing options within the Fairfield/Gonzales neighborhood, which currently consists primarily of single family homes. As our population and demographics change, we need to build housing that suits the current (and desperate) needs of our community. By heavily redesigning the building to provide a broader variety of home types and sizes at a range of price points, the homes will inherently suit a broader range of lifestyles and demographics including individuals, couples, families and seniors.
The previous mansard roof with gable end wall was entirely redesigned to a more conventional flat roof. The four storey volume therefore steps back considerably from the building face, in alignment with the Design Guidelines for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings. At it's corner, the three storey brick base transitions downwards to a two storey volume, appropriately weighting the brick’s mass at this prominent corner and transitioning to a smaller scale towards the lower density residences behind. Variations in brick, depth, and a unique screen detail provide further emphasis on high quality, durable materials and visual interest to the project as a whole.
1733-1737 Fairfield Road is well served by public transit, with three routes within 800 metres of the site (an approximate 10 minute walk). The site is located less than 200m from stops on regional route #7, and 600-800 m from stops on local routes #1 and #3. Downtown or the University of Victoria is approximately a 16-minute trip on route #7 from the site, and Camosun College’s Lansdowne Campus is an approximate 14-minute trip. This quantity of vehicle traffic results in a negligible impact on the local road network and is not anticipated to have a significant impact on adjacent road operations. Additionally, we collected data as to the parking availability in close proximity to the site. During peak periods less than half of the available spaces were being utilized—over 40 spaces remained open for residents and guests.
While the concept may seem new, a density transfer is a common tool used in cities across North America, often where heritage buildings can sell or trade their development rights in order to protect their heritage status.
This means those zoning rights can be realized by someone else; a total win-win for everyone! In the case of a successful density transfer, a heritage site or building can remain but the additional density can be better utilized in a different location. In this instance, Abkhazi Garden is an important place to the Fairfield neighbourhood and it’s neighbours, and is wanting to officially protect it’s heritage status by trading with 1733-37 Fairfield Road and offering it’s additional density rights.
We're committed to being good neighbours. This means having open and honest discussions with the communities we work in. As our proposal moves through phases of the development process, we aim to keep community members informed in order to establish a shared project vision. If you would like to be included on project updates for our proposed development at 1733-37 Fairfield Road, please fill out this form.