Vent your views on ‘monster’ homes

Floor Area Ratio review underway

The development of big houses, on small properties may be on the way out.

Zoning bylaws for the smallest residential lots, RS-4 and RS-5, may be in for a change, with public consultation to gather feedback and present options on the floor area ratio bylaw.

“The problem with the bylaw change is one size does not fit all,” said Oak Bay director of building and planning Roy Thomassen. “We have different sized lots in the same zone.”

The 2007 bylaw change saw the square footage a home could cover, formerly a ratio of .4 to 1, go to a fixed-floor area instead of a percentage. The problem is, not all similarly designated lots are the same size. Under the present rules, a 2,500-square-foot home can be built on an 8,000-square-foot lot, or a lot half that size, as long as both are both are in the designation.

“We think we are coming up with some bylaw changes that will address the large houses on small lots, but to do that, there are quite a few things to change in the bylaw,” Thomassen said. “We have done some consultation with the public and this committee has been trying to come up with the best options, looking at what different municipalities do to see what can work the best.”

The Floor Area Review Public Consultation April 23, reviews the bylaws governing the single-family dwellings over two sessions at Oak Bay Municipal Hall. The first from 3:30 to 5 p.m., targets industry professionals including planners and developers, and the second, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., is for the general public.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP by calling 250-598-2042.