Legalizing suites would worsen parking

So Oak Bay council is mulling legalizing secondary suites. Do the lyrics “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot” come to mind?

Bravo to those people who protested at Oak Bay municipality. We need more Friends of Oak Bay Neighbourhoods voicing their beliefs and concerns, for too many sit on the fence and complain after it is too late.

My struggling family moved to Oak Bay 22 years ago with three kids and a large mortgage. We chose Oak Bay because of its “village” atmosphere. Having lived in New Westminster and commuted to Vancouver every day, it was like going back in time to the ’60s.

I don’t think these “mortgage-poor” families realize most of the illegal suites in Oak Bay are “non-conforming” and would be cost prohibitive to upgrade, i.e. separate heating systems, hardwired smoke alarms and fire separation between principle dwelling and suite, etc.

If a family requires extra income they are entitled to have two boarders in their home.

In my neighbourhood we already have residents with no off-street parking or narrow driveways who park on the street; business customers encroaching, an elementary school and “illegal” tenants parking.

If council legalizes suites, will they be policing residents to make sure landlords and tenants park in their driveways or add parking to their postage stamp-sized lots? Does council want these landlords to pave half their yards? Then again, apply for a variance – I understand they’re easy to come by in Oak Bay.

I love Oak Bay and its community plan. Most of us moved here because it is a quiet, quaint, unique, picturesque area.

If council OKs suites, we might as well amalgamate, blend in and become like everyone else.

Lise Hiscock

Oak Bay