Letter: Oak Bay United gets ‘shabby’ treatment by neighbours

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I am puzzled at how shabbily the OB United church has been treated by neighbours. I thank BG Judson and Matt Stooke for pointing out money is the bottom line and is, as always, an important issue here. In this case a force for community good forgoes profit in order to establish a number of affordable units. Mr. Stooke suggests that a true charitable development would cut back on density. Unfortunately the cost to build anything these days precludes that possibility.

I salute former mayor Diana Butler for her work in our municipality and she is entitled to her opinion but not the facts. She states that Granite House, a condominium building directly across the street, is only three storeys. It is four storeys with 60 suites. There are a number of single family homes in close proximity to the Clive where eight affordable rentals were knocked down to produce 17 expensive rentals on a small lot for pure profit. That neighbourhood was also in almost total rejection of the Clive.

Ms. Butler states that up to 40 homes might find approval. I suggest 40 stacked townhomes of lower heights on the site would create horrendous parking problems. Underground parking is expensive but will satisfy the parking issue. A covenant can be placed on 25 per cent of the units that does not allow tenants with vehicles. She also has a peculiar requirement that height should somehow remain as to what existed before. That would have eliminated the White House, Carlton House, and the Oak Bay Beach hotel all with single family homes in close proximity.

There is very little developable land left and it must be used judiciously. In this case it is a community building opportunity and parochial concerns and construction noise cuts little ice decades from now.

Patrick Skillings

Oak Bay

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