Oak Bay United Church is holding a series of meetings with their close neighbours this week with wider public consultation set for spring. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay United Church seeks neighbour input on design of affordable housing development

Consultation meetings are happening at the church this week to find out design preferences of neighbours.

Oak Bay United Church holds a series of meetings with their neighbours this week regarding their proposed affordable housing project. The meetings are intended to gain input from those living close by that will be directed affected by the project.

“We’re meeting with neighbours right now to get their input on what other services they would like to see, where they think the building should be, whether they prefer height and more green space or low and not as much green space,” says Oak Bay United Church board chair Cheryl Thomas.

Once the consultation sessions conclude this week, the architects and finance people will be working to develop at least three concept designs and there will be future feedback sessions and further adjustments made to the design before submitting a re-zoning application to Oak Bay council.

The church is trying to improve its public engagement process after getting push back from the Oak Bay community about the manner in which it was moving forward with its proposed affordable housing project at Mitchell and Granite streets.

The development became a necessary reality for the church after struggling financially for many years. They are working on an income generating option that aligns with their values, alleviates their financial strain, and brings value to the community. Affordable housing seems the obvious choice.

While BC Housing is providing the financing for the project, they are not involved in the design and the project is not subsidized housing.

“Our vision is to use our church property to create rental housing that will complement the community that is already here. This is not subsidized housing and not support housing for people who are in vulnerable populations,” Oak Bay United Church Rev. Michelle Slater told council in September.

To run the project, the church created a Property Development Committee which includes Cheryl Thomas, Mike McAuley, Russ Raine, and Dustin Demontigny.

They also asked some professionals with more industry experience to sit on the committee with them. The four advisors who volunteer to give expert advise and ask the technical questions of the project team are Chris Causton, Wayne Ford, Andrew Turner, and Jack Basey.

“We may not know all there is to know about developing property and we’ve got an obligation to the congregation so we went out and got the help we needed,” says Thomas.

In terms of timeline, the third neighborhood meeting is happening tonight at 7 p.m. The final meeting will be Sunday at 2 p.m. Then the architect will draw up plans and the church is hoping to get their re-zoning application to the municipality by spring. There will be more public hearings at that stage.

To receive project-specific updates from Oak Bay United, sign up for their newsletter here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Oak Bay United Church is holding a series of meetings with their close neighbours this week with wider public consultation set for spring. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating 14-year-old, high-risk missing youth, Anabella Lilly. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating high-risk missing youth

Police say the circumstances under which 14-year-old Anabella Lilly went missing are ‘high-risk’

Victoria fire crews quickly extinguished a multi-unit apartment building fire near Beacon Hill Park on Oct. 30. (Courtesy of Chief Paul Bruce)
Victoria fire crews extinguish multi-unit fire near Beacon Hill Park

Two people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries

Cat owners are being warned to keep their pets indoors after a threatening note was found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
ROAM warns Peninsula cat owners after threatening note posted in neighbourhood

Note writer doesn’t want cats pooping in their yard, threatens to trap them

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read