Drive to rebuild Clive remains alive

Architects come back with lower density and reduced bicycle parking

A public hearing on the Clive redevelopment is in the works after Oak Bay council voted four to one to move the proposal to the next stage.

Two dozen people interested in the project attended Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting where architect Gregory Damant, of Cascadia Architects, showed his latest revision to the project – the fourth iteration – located at 1510 Clive Dr. The new Clive will now have 17 rental units, down from the proposed 19, and a reduction in bicycle parking to allow increased setbacks.

Owner Nicole Roberts said she felt relieved and indicated it’s time for Oak Bay to have a say on the proposal, through a public hearing.

“I feel hopeful,” Roberts said after council voted. “The community and council have raised valid concerns and we worked hard to listen and to address them.”

Coun. Pam Copley agreed.

“A significant amount of preliminary work has been done in terms of community consultation and various revisions of the proposal the applicant has put forward,” Copley said. “Now is the time to engage the broader community in a public hearing.”

Since September, the district received 39 letters regarding the Clive redevelopment with 31 opposed.

At that time, council received a petition signed by 500 people against the redevelopment, along with more than 60 letters.

Coun. John Herbert was the lone dissenter among council. He said the variance required for this updated proposal is still too large and he wants the setback to be further increased, especially for the east side of the proposal.

The proposed exterior side setback is 2.8 metres (9.18 feet). Currently, it’s 9.14 metres (30 feet), a difference of 6.34 metres (20.8 feet).

Herbert said he doesn’t believe in “spot zoning.”

“We change things all the time, but they are not huge changes and it’s not for massive buildings,” Herbert said, before the vote. “I think this would set a precedent.”

Mayor Nils Jensen disagreed and said spot zoning has its place in the community, citing examples such as Carlton House and Shannon Oaks. He was originally against the construction of Carlton House, but he thinks people need to view things from a historical perspective.

“I had concerns with the Carlton House because of how it could have impacted the neighbours on Chaucer Street,” Jensen said. “In retrospect, the neighbourhood has learned to accept and appreciate the Carlton House. We need to learn from that experience.”

Adrian Blunt lives in one of the units at the current Clive and used to own a heritage home in Oak Bay. He spoke in favour of the redevelopment.

“(The proposed new Clive) is an example of what Oak Bay should look like in the future,” Blunt said, adding density needs to be increased within the village.

“Enhance the village instead of restraining it.”

Former councillor Hazel Braithwaite was one of the 500 people who signed the petition against the redevelopment. She addressed council, telling them they should respect and represent the view of the majority.

“The units have to be livable, I truly agree with that, but you have to address that the building has to be acceptable to the (community) as well,” Braithwaite said. “I am surprised it got to this stage to be honest. You will see residents out in force to discuss this and I look forward to it.”

District staff will now proceed to bylaw preparation and draft permits and variances. A public hearing will be scheduled, likely in the new year.

Details of the new proposal can be viewed at theclive.ca.

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