Letter: Infill will weaken Oak Bay’s character

Policy endorsing infill will diminish quality of life

In a letter to residents May 25, 2016, mailed with this year’s property tax notices, the mayor said that a residential infill policy for incorporating residential infill development into established neighborhoods was being developed.

He also said that the district was working to preserve and strengthen Oak Bay’s unique character and quality of life.

Infill development consists of duplexes and triplexes, and laneway houses and garden suites on single-family-dwelling lots where there is already a single detached home.

Oak Bay is defined by its quiet, attractive, predominantly single-detached-home residential neighbourhoods. It has a strong sense of community. Its population is small. Its population density is low. It enjoys a low crime rate. Vehicle traffic is relatively light and safe. Parking on residential streets is relatively convenient.

All of these contribute to a high quality of life.

In my view, the implementation of a policy endorsing infill development would be inconsistent with preserving what defines Oak Bay.

Infill development will cover over green space and reduce yard space in residential neighborhoods.

An increased population and increased population density will mean more noise, less community cohesiveness and more crime.

More people will mean more vehicles and more traffic congestion. Driving and walking on Oak Bay’s streets will become more difficult, frustrating and dangerous.

Convenient parking on some residential streets will become more difficult if not impossible to find.

Make no mistake about it; the implementation of a policy endorsing infill development will irreparably damage and weaken Oak Bay’s character and significantly diminish the quality of life that we enjoy today.

Bruce Filan

Oak Bay