Bylaw needs to be revisited

the unfortunate fact is that the house did conform to the current zoning bylaw.

Re: Construction complete (News, Jan. 16).

While the local residents are concerned about the appearance of this new house in their area, the unfortunate fact is that the house did conform to the current zoning bylaw.

The amendment to it in 2007 needed more careful consideration. It would also be helpful if council was familiar with architectural plans, as they appear on almost every agenda.

Oak Bay residents should be more concerned when council does not uphold that bylaw if a property seeking variances is nonconforming. Granting variances in such a case begs the question: why bother to have a bylaw?

There are two outstanding problems here. Planning by variance and the ability of council to vary the maximum allowable floor area via a development permit application. The zoning bylaw is a poor, useless tool if it can be circumvented, manipulated or ignored.

Helen Slade

Oak Bay