At the Oak Bay residential infill strategy open house on Sept. 10, the district’s consultant presented a slide referring to the survey that was completed in 2013 before the adoption of the Official Community Plan.
In that survey respondents were asked whether or not they agreed with the inclusion of duplexes, laneway houses, and garden suites in residential areas, but were required before answering the question to make the assumption that key issues such as tree protection, parking, traffic, noise, and neighborhood character would be addressed.
The slide contained the percentages of respondents who supported those forms of infill development.
However the slide was incomplete because it failed to say that the support measured in the survey was subject to the assumption that the harmful effects of infill would be addressed.
Unfortunately the survey did not determine the percentages of respondents, if any, who would have supported those kinds of infill if the respondents had not been required to make the assumption.
The assumption that was required to be made was an integral part of the survey.
If any of the notoriously harmful effects of infill development in a residential neighborhood including:
• a reduction in the quality of the character of the neighborhood,
• increased motor vehicle traffic,
• reduction in available on street parking
• increased noise, and
• loss of trees
are not or cannot be prevented, then the survey results cannot be taken as evidence of what support, if any, there might be for infill development.