I received five pages of unaddressed mail from proponents of the Oak Bay United Church project. The blurb says they want to share the ‘key facts’ yet it all seemed rather short on facts. It states that their approach is ‘most compatible with our ministry in Oak Bay’ and ‘best reflects our values and commitment to Oak Bay’, yet neighbours’ suggestions are documented entirely with negativity. What makes them believe “our ministry” is compatible with that of surrounding neighbours?
Regarding ‘loss of an estimated $2.5 million in community services’, what unaccountable financial hubris do they expect the people of Oak Bay to believe? Certainly there’s no ‘loss’ of something we do not have; moreover Oak Bay already has excellent community services in place. Why would we need another ‘seniors drop-in centre’ when we have the excellent Monterey centre a block away?
They speak of addressing parking and traffic needs. Good grief. As neighbours we can only image in our worst nightmares what this far-too-large development proposal would mean in terms of local traffic, air pollution, noise pollution, pedestrian safety, and more.
They use the term ‘breakeven’ which must be a new word. We’ve seen enough on this front, to wit, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, where developers pleaded for variances ‘to break even’. Right. We know where that went, and where it stems from: sheer greed.
To lay a guilt trip on residents who cherish the quiet, leafy ambience of the neighbourhood they’ve looked after for decades by calling them ‘mean-spirited’ is nothing short of manipulative. If the proponents would simply listen to their neighbours they would hear what is obvious: few are against all development; most are compassionate to those less fortunate; and size does matters, as does the ambience of our cherished neighbourhood.