How big is too big?

Public input sought at Dec. 11 sessions

The rules on making an addition or renovation to your home are again under scrutiny in Oak Bay.

Earlier this year the municipality started a review of zoning bylaw regulations that control house size, height and setbacks for RS-4 and RS-5 lots – the majority of residential lots. On Dec. 11 the district will be hosting a public consultation on the current regulations and possible alternatives.

“Council created the Floor Area Review Committee to look at all the options for controlling the size of homes to ensure the character of Oak Bay’s streetscapes and ambiance are protected,” said Mayor Nils Jensen. “This is a very complex issue that will benefit from a wide spectrum of community input.”

The first session will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This session is for those involved in the building industry, and may include planners, developers, architects, residential designers or other professionals who have knowledge or experience with Oak Bay or other jurisdictional land use regulations.

The second session will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This session is for those who have a general interest in house size, floor area restrictions, allowable site coverage, streetscapes or other aspects of building massing on residential properties. More time will be spent at this session in explaining the concepts and terminology of land use.

“This is arguably the bylaw that impacts homeowners most directly,” said Coun. Kevin Murdoch, who chairs the floor area review committee. “The sessions on December 11 will help capture any methods, ideas or concerns not yet identified.”

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Marlene Baldwin at 250-598-2042 or mbaldwin@oakbay.ca. Background materials will be emailed prior to the Dec. 11 sessions to those who RSVP.