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Victoria residents rally support for Rockland re-do

<p>Rockland neighbourhood residents protesting a proposed development on the site of the former Victoria Truth Centre at 1201 Fort St. make their point to passersby on Fort Street during a rally on Sunday. Proponent Abstract Developments has an open house on the project scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Fairfield Hall beside Fairfield United Church. Don Descoteau/Victoria News</p> -

Rockland neighbourhood residents protesting a proposed development on the site of the former Victoria Truth Centre at 1201 Fort St. make their point to passersby on Fort Street during a rally on Sunday. Proponent Abstract Developments has an open house on the project scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Fairfield Hall beside Fairfield United Church. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

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Rockland neighbours brought out the signs and their vocal cords Sunday on Fort Street in front of the former Truth Centre.

Protesting a proposal for a multi-phase condominium and townhome development at 1201 Fort St. and along Pentrelew Place, the neighbours garnered honks from passing motorists for signs that read I Want Trees in my Future, and Stop Over Development, Respect Neighbourhoods.

Rally video

People in the area are upset with developer Abstract Developments, whose proposal calls for construction of six- and four-storey condo buildings, as well as 10 townhomes. While some neighbours say the scale and style of the project is not in keeping with the neighbourhood, others worry about the precedent that removing most of the mature, protected trees on the property would set.

"Our real concern is that the proposal that they've come back with almost ignored council's suggestions … about massing and height and preserving the privacy of neighbours," said Phil Calvert, a Craigdarroch Road resident and member of the Rockland Neighbourhood Association.

He also worries that the development doesn't address the need of housing for families in Victoria.

Abstract and its development team are hosting a public open house with the latest proposal for the project on Tuesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Hall, 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Pentrelew Place resident Don Hamilton said residents don't feel they've been listened to by Abstract on issues of neighbourhood scale or design. "They've got an agenda that is quite different than ours," he said.

While city council will have the final say on the project – the proposal has yet to be sent to public hearing – Calvert is not placing all his trust in the elected officials.

"We can't just leave it to city council, we have to make sure they understand what our views are and that we're still unsatisfied and don't want to let this go," he said.

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