Council defers Bowker development discussion

Council plans to revisit proposed four-storey building March 20

The Bowker Road view of the proposed new development on Cadbury Bay and Bowker roads.

The Bowker Road view of the proposed new development on Cadbury Bay and Bowker roads.

Facing a contentious issue with a councillor missing from the discussion Monday night, Oak Bay council opted to shift a proposed development for Cadboro Bay Road and Bowker Avenue to its March committee meeting.

Coun. Eric Zheka was off sick. Due to illness Coun. Michelle Kirby participated in the meeting by teleconference when the proposal for a four-storey building at the corner was to be discussed for potential zoning amendment bylaw.

The four-storey, 43-unit building would face both Cadboro Bay Road and Bowker Avenue in a V formation with garden in the centre.

The split vote at council reflected public input during various meetings, where residents voiced both praise and concern.

Some feel the new build would help develop what is determined as a village in the official community plan, creating a hub with a restaurant and setback patio at the corner. Others are concerned over the massing of the building, and lack of setback on Cadboro Bay Road as well as minimal setback on Bowker.

At the previous meeting, councillors Kirby, Tara Ney, Tom Croft and Mayor Nils Jensen voted in favour of moving the project forward, while councillors Zhelka, Kevin Murdoch and Hazel Braithwaite opposed.

With one council member missing and anticipation of another narrow vote and potential lengthy discussion as well as an Oak Bay precedent for waiting for all council members to be present for such split decisions, they opted to push the project back to the next committee meeting.

Committee meets March 20, 7 p.m. at municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave. Decisions made during committee are recommendations to council where a discussion can be revisited.

This proposal would also require a public hearing.