Oak Bay council discusses heritage status, sewer and water rates

Every motion was passed unanimously without discussion, except the sewer user charge bylaw

Five hours of heritage discussion dominated council chambers, Dec. 10.

Municipal staff recommended that council lay the groundwork for 1561 York Place to receive heritage revitalization, addition, and alteration permits. The special committee was set to start at 6 p.m, an hour earlier than normal. Residents who arrived early still had to pack the halls, as the chambers were at capacity.

Nearly everyone in attendance opposed the proposed plan.

READ MORE: Year-end budget adjustments, 2019 utility hikes on the table at council

If granted, the carriage house on the property would have been moved to Windsor Park. It was to be restored by developers and used by the municipality. The 1.54 acre lot where 1561 York Place is located would be sub-divided into four lots, each occupied by a single family home.

Those who spoke out against the project widely criticized moving the carriage house off site, the amount of blasting the project would require—notably creating hole in the surrounding rock-wall— and a heritage revitalization agreement being used as a development tool. Ultimately, council unanimously sent the file back for further negotiation between Oak Bay and the owners.

Council-proper commenced after a five-minute recess. It lasted only 18 minutes.

Every motion was passed unanimously without discussion, except the sewer user charge bylaw. Coun. Braithwaite was the sole dissenting vote in that motion which set a 26.5 per cent increase in municipal sewer charges.

Documents presented at council show the increase would result in an estimated additional $30.70 charge per household. Water rates were also increased based off usage. The fixed daily water rate went up 4.5 per cent, while the consumption rate increased 5.25 per cent.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

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