Two public events this week will give insight into a plan to protect one of Oak Bay’s oldest designed subdivisions. The Prospect Neighbourhood has significant cultural and historical value as it contains 11 of Oak Bay’s 30 designated heritage homes, one of which was built for Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, second son of Sir Charles Tupper, the last surviving Father of Confederation.
The area, bounded by Oak Bay Avenue, Beach Drive, Prospect Place, San Carlos Place and York Place, is being proposed as a Heritage Conservation Area. It would be Oak Bay’s first Heritage Conservation Area, though there are about 60 in B.C. with several in Victoria.
“That neighbourhood has the greatest concentration of architect-designed houses in the district,” said Stuart Stark, a heritage consultant who has lead walking tours of the area.
Many were designed by Frances Rattenbury and John Gerhard Tiarks.
“They bought 15 acres of land and then developed that neighbourhood in 1898. So because they at that time were both the star architects in the city, they attracted other architects like Maclure to build houses in the neighbourhood as well. So we’ve got this lovely concentration of lovely houses,” said Stark.
The Heritage Conservation Area Working Group is holding two events on March 8 for the public to learn more about what a Heritage Conservation Area might look like, and to explore possible options, policies and guidelines.
The two sessions, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., will be held Thursday at Oak Bay municipal hall at 2167 Oak Bay Avenue.
Municipal and regional governments can create a Heritage Conservation Area that establishes regulatory guidelines and may list individual properties for protection. They protect ambience, landscaping and historical things such as a rural lane way or stone wall.
The Heritage Conservation Area Working Group is a volunteer citizen body appointed by Council in October 2017.
Heritage consultants were hired by Oak Bay to assist the Working Group and district staff in moving forward with research and community consultation to see if the plan is feasible, and if so, working towards implementation.
Learn more about the proposed HCA area online at www.protectoakbayheritage.ca
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