Remember the survey?
Cheryl Thomas of Oak Bay United Church doesn’t live in Oak Bay so she would not have been one of those surveyed when council asked Oak Bay citizens for help with the OCP. A lot of good information was gathered, and on the topic of housing the following list of housing options were considered by the public to be the least acceptable in any new development:
Building height increases; Inclusion of triplexes and fourplexes in existing single family residential areas; Allowing very small units (such as 300 sq. ft) to allow for more units in a building; Developers encroaching on single family zones. The church’s redevelopment application hits the jackpot in the ‘least acceptable’ category: they are building too high, including a fourplex (at market rates), creating extremely small units in order to cram as much as possible into a small space and all surrounded by single family homes in a residential neighbourhood. Some of the units are 290 sq. ft, and a one bedroom unit will be 400-480 sq. ft. On this survey the message from citizens was do it right. Go slow with change, make changes that are well thought through, well researched in other communities and are intentional and according to a plan, not ad hoc. We all need to remind council of the survey results when the time comes.
P. Scott Judson