Residents saved from big bang

Low-impact blasting will be used to get rid of bedrock to construct a new home with a basement.

A Roslyn Street property owner has agreed to use low-impact blasting to get rid of some bedrock so he can construct a new home with a basement.

John Young signed a restrictive covenant on Dec. 12, agreeing to use “small, low concussion charges, and multiple small charges designed to pre-shear the rock face,” according to an agreement, registered with the land title office.

He also promised to protect trees and roots where the blasting will occur.

The covenant was entered into after neighbours complained about blasting that occurred last year. Construction explosions at 1221 and 1231 Victoria Ave. caused wall cracks and damage to doors at one almost century old house.

Another concern about the development raised by neighbours was Young’s request to remove two Garry Oak trees. One was considered in poor shape by Oak Bay’s arborist and removal of the second tree would allow a rectangular home to be built on the lot. Council unanimously approved removal of the two trees at its Dec. 16 meeting. Coun. Tara Ney was absent from the vote due to a medical leave.

“I understand how the community feels abut the two trees,” said Coun. Cairine Green.

“(But) I believe Mr. Young has done absolutely everything he could to accommodate our requests and requests by neighbours. It’s been a very long process for him.”

Council received six letters from nearby residents who asked that the trees be saved.