Oak Bay Watch Bulletin - Secondary Suite Survey Information
The Secondary Suite Study – Background Review dated December 20, 2018 submitted by the consultant to the Director and Manager of Building and Planning was withheld for six months.
When finally published by the District at Council on May 27, 2019 its presentation was “evasive” to say the least.
In the half year the Secondary Suite Study Study was withheld, January – May 2019, there were many Council meetings at which the Planning Department provided their Secondary Suite Initiative update reports. Also, while still withholding the Consultant’s Secondary Study Study , the District held a Secondary Suite resident open house and conducted a Secondary Suite Survey.
The labeling of the Secondary Suite Study when finally released on May 27, 2019 was misleading. It was also provided well on as item #7 in a long Council agenda, and obscured in a batch of five complex documents. It was entitled, “Item 4 - Background Review” as follows:
May 27, 2019 Council agenda #7. Secondary Suites Study Process Update
Report by the Manager of Planning to Council recommending that Council receive the report for information:
Report - Secondary Suites Study Process Update
Attach 1 - Open House Initial Findings
Attach 2 - Open House Display Boards
Attach 3 - Secondary Suites Newsletter
Attach 4 - Background Review
Addenda - Correspondence - Secondary Suites Update
In addition to this, as recently as May 6, 2019, the Director of Building and Planning had just provided a Secondary Suite “Chronology Review”. Residents and perhaps even Council members could well have assumed the Chronology Review Report was the same as the background Review.
- 2/5 of Oak Bay private dwellings are already multi-family dwellings (see page #2). Note: multi-family dwellings usually have transition zones to lessen impacts on single family-neighborhoods.
- “Potential impacts on water and other infrastructure and access issues for firefighting”. Note: The same holds true for Infill Development.
- Parking congestion on streets with unregulated secondary suites. Note: The alternative: Imposing off-street parking will result in green space and tree loss as well as the infrastructure impacts. These serious issues are not identified as a problem.
- The absence of regulation means that many suites do not meet safety (and Health) standards. Note: Elsewhere the number suites have increased – and most remain unregistered.
- Secondary suites only meet the needs of renter households and many people (e.g., older adults) do not find suites (particularly basement) suitable for their needs. Note: This is consistent with the Official Community Plan Finding Report
The Secondary Suite Study (or Background Review) although providing mainly pro-suite information does provide relevant information that Oak Bay residents should be aware of prior to completing the Secondary Suite Survey Questionnaire. The Secondary Suite Study impact information to consider:
Oak Bay Watch Note: The following impacts are not mentioned
Noise and increased traffic on Oak Bay’s quiet streets. The method to recover the costs of the substantial increased municipal services, enforcement and administration experienced by other municipalities. Who will pay for this? The general property taxpayers?
See the Provincial Government Secondary Suite – a Guide for Local Governments see how other BC Communities have struggled with secondary suite impacts/ challenges:
Please type into your browser: Secondary Suites - A Guide for Local Governments
To put these BC Secondary Suite Guide challenges into perspective please read page # 13: 5.0 Preliminary Policy Questions:
Appendix #1 – Link to Consultant Secondary Suite Study – Background Review: Right click on link below \click open hyperlink\Council Agenda item #7\ click Background Review
https://oakbay.civicweb.net/filepro/document/36230/Council Meeting - 27 May 2019.docx?
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Much more important Secondary Suite Information will be provided on Thursday May 20, 2021 and on the weekend of May 22/23. Please wait until then to fill Secondary Suite Survey – Deadline is June 3, 2021.