Letter: Current suites conversation misses on future prospects

Send your letters to editor@oakbaynews.com

There is a motion before council directing staff to present a plan to implement secondary suites. The focus is on existing suites, with little discussion on new development. Council and developers advise that Oak Bay must keep up with housing options available in other communities. There is no mention that Oak Bay needs to keep up with the policies and regulations that enable other communities to responsibly manage the process.

In an attempt to understand concerns expressed by residents, I followed several development applications through various meetings where discrepancies become evident. The most troubling conflict is the lack of district policy for the approving officer. While the AO’s discretion is independent from elected officials and municipal staff, on matters like contributions to parkland acquisition reserves, it is council’s responsibility to create policy.

As a result of information in one AO report (acquired via FOI) and a question of council on Jan. 22, I learned that council has not delegated the authority to staff to consider parkland acquisition, or financial contributions in lieu of parkland. If the AO’s report shows that contribution is ‘to be determined’ the matter must, therefore, be brought to council for a decision. Council have failed to reveal their responsibility. Instead, tens of thousands of dollars are left out of the deliberations.

It is imprudent of council to consider proceeding with a motion on secondary suites, or other infill, until they adopt policies to eliminate disparities like this. It is irresponsible, if not reckless, to propose implementation of a program that could push unexpected costs onto taxpayers, or reduce services. To do so shows a total disregard for impact on the community, and for long-term financial sustainability. I request that council present the community with a financial and services impact analysis for a fully informed decision.

Esther Paterson

Oak Bay

Just Posted

Tent city break-up leaves mobile clinic seeking Greater Victoria’s homeless

Clinic nurse has witnessed rise in sex work, drug use following tent city disbandment

Saanich endorses plan for food production on Panama Flats

Coun. Dean Murdock wants next council to follow through on idea

BC SPCA praises City of Victoria for bylaw amendments

Changes to tethering time and animal count limits are in line with organization’s beliefs

Victoria wants more information on money laundering prevention in casinos

Council is hesitant to open new casino after Lower Mainland sites were found cleaning illicit cash

Langford mayor upset with province over homeless camp

Camp Namegans moved to Goldstream Provincial Park campground on Sept. 18

Oak Bay Fitness opens its doors with free classes

Top calibre instructors welcome public to 10,000 sq ft training facility

B.C. hockey product eyes shot at Olympic spot with China

Fletcher is one of 24 who travelled to Shenzhen, China for the first official Olympic dev camp.

Are you feeling lazy? That’s OK – it’s just science

UBC study shows that humans are hardwired to prefer being sloth-like

LETTER: Who do we blame for the tragedy of Marrisa Shen’s death?

The B.C. girl was killed in a Burnaby park last July

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington in search of a way to bridge divide

Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector

Young people need us to act on climate change, McKenna tells G7 ministers

Catherine McKenna led off the three-day Halifax gathering Wednesday

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Most Read