Current zoning formula flawed

Public sessions will be held this week on the implementation of the floor area ratio report

I am certain I am not the only one that has noticed the increase in single family homes with dumpster bins outside awaiting their final hour. With this comes the sickening realization that the mature gardens and stately trees that have stood decades, sometimes even centuries, will be destroyed along with the home.

It is extremely disheartening to witness our neighbourhood losing the lovely and unique character that drew us here in the first place.

As many Oak Bay residents realize, the recent municipal election was largely focused on the implementation of the Official Community Plan (OCP) and the floor area ratio (FAR) report.

Unbeknownst to the majority of Oak Bay residents, however, is the new OCP does not even mention the words “single family home” or “neighbourhoods” let alone the protection of them.

The FAR committee was formed to correct the zoning mistake made by Oak Bay council in 2007 that allowed monster houses on small lots. The FAR committee has now made strong recommendations to remedy this problem of over development. Although the council has had the FAR recommendation for some time they have not ratified it.

The original FAR committee in 2007 inadvertently changed the zoning bylaw formula from a ratio to a fixed formula. This was even against the advice of the chief administrative officer, who correctly predicted large intrusive houses on small lots would result.

They also removed in 2007 ancillary buildings like garages from the allowable square footage. This has allowed much more massing which has led to the decimation of our neighbourhoods’ trees, gardens and quaint houses here in Oak Bay.

Existing residents who built under the old bylaw pre-2007 had to conform to rules that allowed much lower density, and now with the current FAR find themselves negatively impacted by overly large houses which block their sunlight, views and destroy privacy.

After exhaustive community input and $300,000 worth of free consultation from the building industry, council could choose to dilute it or even take no action at all.

Oak Bay council is about to hold public sessions this week on the implementation of the FAR committee’s report.

It is extremely important as Oak Bay residents we attend these FAR report sessions open to the public, to show council our concern with the over development of our community.  As residents we must endorse the implementation of the FAR committee’s report and demand that it be ratified immediately and not left to languish on the top shelf in city hall. Time is of the essence.

Rachel McDonnell

Oak Bay

 

Just Posted

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Panels proliferate in Victoria’s Commercial Alley Art Gallery

City artist Fern Long’s themed works will be on display through August 2020

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read