UVic expands, residents complain

There could even be more noisy student housing

I’ve just returned from a short trip to Victoria, where I can sadly report that the post-secondary story dominating the minds of ordinary citizens is no longer the fate of refugee bunnies.

Don’t get me wrong—those creatures, whose plight is one of the great tragic stories of our times, still commandeers our attention from time to time. But the story is many months old at this point, and there’s only so many ways you can shoot a dead rabbit horse.

However, I’m happy to report that the local media has moved on to a slightly more important topic about their university.

Instead of “Cute Animals Under Threat,” it’s now “Concerned Residents Don’t Like Change.”

Last year, the university bought a six-hectare parcel of land, the “Queenswood Property,” which is two blocks away from its boundaries. Previously owned by the Sisters of St. Ann, UVic naturally wants to rezone the land to give them maximum flexibility when they decide what exactly they want to do with it. People who live in the area, naturally, are concerned.

“What they proposed was clearly not respectful in any way of the comments they received from the residents,” a resident of the area said to a local paper.

Both articles on the issue raise the specter of student housing (noises from young people! boo!) as a possibility, and while UVic hasn’t exactly said what they would do with the land, it has to be a possibility for them. They currently have 2,100 students living in university housing and with an overall population of around 20,000, that’s not a great ratio.

UVic, surrounded as it is by residential land, has finite space, and this rezoning will give them a tremendous opportunity to shape future development. The only question is; what will it be?

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