Letter: Stewardship is vital to Oak Bay character

If the Fair Street subdivision is an example of the OCP at work, I should have stayed in Vancouver.

Regarding the official community plan and the Fair Street subdivision, this project originally involved two lots with a house on each lot. The lots were consolidated and clear-cut. This involved destroying magnificent mature Lombardy poplars as well as several other species. How will the urban forest be replaced to counter this loss? It will be impossible to rectify this damage in my children’s lifetime. The poplars were about 60 years old and about 50 feet high.

Now there are four houses and garages on this site plus a new road from Fair Street toward Cadboro Bay Road. The footprints of the houses and garages are so large that there is no space for lawn or garden or even a small tree. And the properties don’t appear to be “affordable.” I couldn’t afford one.

Have mayor and council seen this development and how it compares with what it replaces? Have they considered the implications for infrastructure, traffic and the urban forest?

Compared to two households, four households use more water, produce more sewage, create more traffic and noise, require more parking, produce more run-off and accommodate fewer trees.

I have a 6,000-square-foot lot with a small house. Can I subdivide my property to accommodate two houses? Or can I consolidate my property with a neighbour’s and get a triplex built? Wed make a lot of money, assuming I am willing to have my 50-year-old monkey puzzle tree taken down along with my heritage apple tree and my 40-foot honey locust.

If the Fair Street subdivision is an example of the OCP at work, I should have stayed in Vancouver.

Stewardship of the land and the people and animals and plants that reside there is a sacred trust. I imagined when I moved here that Oak Bay recognized this. I guess I got that wrong.

Danalee Goldthwaite

 

Oak Bay