How big, modern homes fit in

The home that sparked protests and a group committed to building size restrictions has been on sale for nearly a year

The Oak Bay home that sparked protests and a group committed to building size restrictions has been on sale for nearly a year and the asking price has dropped by $250,000.

The West Coast modern home at 1058 Monterey Ave., known as Oak Lanes, was listed for $1.75 million. It is now listed for $1.489 million.

Current realtor Sophak Sim said offers have been made on the home, which has won design awards, but those offers haven’t materialized.

“We had a couple of offers but we couldn’t agree to some terms,” Sim said. “Anything priced over $1 million takes a little more time to sell.”

“It’s such a unique property. It’s going to take a unique person to pick it up.”

Sim added, due to current market conditions, numerous homes in the million dollar-plus category sit on the market for more than a year before selling.

The original home on the property was built in 1912. It sold in March 2012 for $685,000.

Developer Method Built’s Rajinder Sahota believes most of the controversy stemmed from the design of the home, which isn’t the eyesore many thought it would be when the plans were introduced to the community.

“At least half who were opposed to it really like it,” Sahota said. “People didn’t envision the landscape being the way it is.”

Sahota said there were some design alterations made, such as the addition of stone and cedar cladding, to make it fit into the neighbourhood better. He also said residents can expect to see more similar-styled homes built in Oak Bay because West Coast modern style is what an increasing number of people are looking for.

“From my perspective, we don’t go around driving cars from the 30s or or wear clothes from the 30s,” Sahota said. “Architecture improves over time and we need to meet the needs of the 21st century.”

Sahota is currently in the early stages of building two West Coast modern design homes in Oak Bay for existing property owners. He also knows of other developers who are working on building such homes in Oak Bay as well.

How big is too big?

The rules on making an addition or renovation to your home are still 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. The district also hosted public consultation on the current regulations and possible alternatives. Discussion will continue in the new year.

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