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Date: January 26, 2012

UVic Releases Report On CARSA And Parkade Consultation

UVic will soon commence, with the surrounding communities, on a more in-depth and widespread consultation process on the university’s proposed Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) and adjoining parkade. The upcoming process incorporates the recommendations from HB Lanarc, a community engagement and municipal planning firm that the university commissioned to assist it in developing a new consultation process for the project. The report by HB Lanarc containing their findings and recommendations has been released today.

The report recommends a five-phase process leading to a resubmission for the project to Saanich Council—targeted for June 2012. In Oct. 2011, council voted to postpone UVic’s request for height and parking variances in order to allow for more consultation.

In compiling the report, HB Lanarc conducted 22 phone and in-person interviews with Saanich Council and planning staff and community members identified as having a key interest in the project. While identifying general support for CARSA and UVic’s overall development planning process, the report states that respondents wanted more “respectful, meaningful and collaborative” future consultation efforts by UVic.

“We recognize the need to develop a broader, more meaningful way of consulting with our surrounding communities when it comes to development on campus, especially when it borders residential areas and roadways,” says UVic’s Vice-President Finance and Operations Gayle Gorrill. “The recommended process will help us engage and consult with the community more effectively on this particular project.”

The report identifies the main concerns among those interviewed as the size, location, design and visual impact of the parkade, as well as traffic impacts and transit planning. Respondents also want to understand the rationale behind UVic’s decisions to place buildings on certain sites and the ramifications of changing those locations.

“We welcome the recommendations in the report and are already beginning to implement them,” says Gorrill. “Over the next six months we will be working with the stakeholders for the project and other interested groups and individuals in a broad and inclusive way with the goal of bringing a new proposal to Saanich Council in June.”

“As the community co-chair of the UVic-Community Association Liaison Committee I’m pleased to lead the associations' involvement in the upcoming consultation process,” says Tom Croft. “We're looking forward to being active participants in the months ahead.”

The report is available at www.uvic.ca/carsa.

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Media contacts:

UVic Vice-President Finance and Operations Gayle Gorrill is available between noon and 1 p.m. on Jan. 26. To arrange an interview please contact Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca
Tom Croft (UVic-Community Association Liaison Committee/Community Association of Oak Bay) at 250-727-1318 or tomcroft@telus.net

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