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LETTER: Housing legislation will overwhelm community infrastructure


The editorial in the Nov. 23 Oak Bay News paints a picture indicating civic politicians’ concerns are about protecting their community’s more affluent neighbourhoods. It states these elected officials want them to remain “safe enclaves for the crisis unfolding outside their stately doors.”

This is certainly not the case: many politicians’ main concerns, as expressed in many of the media’s publications and outlets, want to know how this substantial provincially imposed densification will be funded, to deal with the inherent impacts such as the new infrastructure, amenities, traffic, street parking, loss of green space and all the other impacts.

The province announced a $4-billion impact fund, however, it’s split between 161 B.C. municipalities. This divided funding will not come close to providing what is needed to cover the cost of these additional impacts. For example, Oak Bay’s portion was $4 million: however, the district’s infrastructure deficit is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Most municipalities will be facing the same exceptionally high tax increases in 2024 as in 2023 and even higher. The new additional densification costs will only increase this excessive taxation as well as adding to all the inflation costs.

To suggest that, “the legislation does not prevent anyone from living in a single-family home, and that it merely prevents them from dictating that their neighbour must do the same” is ignoring that preventing what a neighbour does is not the issue. The real concern is the developer who buys a neighbour’s house. Experience has shown that developers will develop for maximum profit, in this case, most likely six units. Single-family homes on either side will lose privacy, views, sunlight, and a lot of noise and street parking will be added. I believe that these are the issues most residents will be concerned about.

Building housing on expensive land hasn’t resulted in affordability so far, so why is it that the provincial government thinks their dictated housing legislation is going to allow Canadians and new arrivals to afford adequate accommodation any time soon?

Anthony Mears

Oak Bay