The City of Victoria’s Off-Street Parking Regulations (“Schedule C” of the Zoning Bylaw) were developed in 1981 and do not reflect more current City policies, local parking needs, and best practices in parking regulations. Victoria has continued to see steady growth and development over the past 15 years including the introduction of many new and unique forms of development which have required parking variances to account for the disconnect between current parking demand and the parking rates that were established in 1981. In February 2016, WATT Consulting Group was retained to complete a comprehensive review and update of the City of Victoria’s Off-Street Parking Regulations to better align regulations with policies in the Official Community Plan and to reduce the frequency and magnitude of parking variances in new development.
The review process was focused on an extensive original data collection and analysis process that aimed to understand local parking demand characteristics through review of over 200 multi-family residential, commercial, and hospital sites. The analysis included testing of factors that influence parking demand, such as location, unit size, tenure, and proximity to public transit. The results directly influenced the minimum parking supply rates included in the updated regulations.
The review process involved an extensive stakeholder and public engagement process to identify and test innovations for inclusion in the new Schedule C. These included studying local demographics to determine more barrier free parking is needed than is mandated in BC Building Code, options to require electric vehicle and electric bicycle charging facilities, conditions for carshare in multi-family residential uses, and ensuring landscape and pedestrian facilities in surface parking lots. Schedule C was adopted by the City in the summer of 2018 and will help achieve its broad objectives related to sustainable transportation, urban development, and affordable housing.
The updated Schedule C document is available online here.