Oak Bay Council’s theme - “Pave over paradise and put in a parking lot”.
When Council discarded our previous Official Community Plan (OCP), the basis for the OCP Renewal was gradual, “sustainable growth”. This became “Reasoned Growth” in the current Council’s priorities. So what does the stage for Council’s current “reasoned growth initiative” look like?
- Excessive density such as the already approved Bowker/ Cadboro Bay Road Condo Development, The Clive Condo Development, considering the Quest Condo Development and the Town House Development on the Ottavio site (they may need to close as a result). All these developments far exceed the Floor Area Ratio (the massing) allowed under our zoning, and are achieved only by way of variances by Council. The Community and some Council members have opposed the size and impacts of all these developments.
- Prioritizing Infill Development: basement, garden and lane way houses in the face of Community opposition. Council has recently allocated over $250,000 to implement “their” infill development initiative in 2017/2018. The effects of the impacts will add to our critical infrastructure deficiency.
- Continuing to allow overly large, disproportionate houses to go up all over Oak Bay, seriously impacting heritage and neighbouring properties. This is clearly not what the community wants as they have indicated in surveys.
- Not setting policy to control the new spate of Bare Land Strata Developments that will not only destroy Oak Bay’s character and heritage, but will devastate large numbers of existing trees and green space.
- No overall Housing Strategy (a well thought out, discussed plan) supported by demographic information.
- No development cost charges to defray the costs of development on our aging infrastructure (normal procedure in other municipalities).
- Failing to strengthen our weak tree bylaw currently allowing so much tree loss.
This Council’s development initiatives will put an enormous strain on our infrastructure, service levels, and amenities – Oak Bay will not remain Oak Bay with this kind of density.
The following quote in the September 3rd, 2017 Times Colonist regarding a proposed 14 Condo Application on a single-family lot sums up it up.
“We think that it is a watershed moment….. “If this proposal (The Quest) is approved, it will tell developers that they need not concern themselves with Oak Bay’s building bylaws or OCP guidelines protecting neighbours, neighbourhoods, environment and Oak Bay character.”
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