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LETTER: Suite changes will drive up Oak Bay taxes

With reference to letter to Karen Nelson’s letter to the editor Oak Bay News April 15, I would like support her comments about the District of Oak Bay imposing excessive property taxes.

My husband and I moved to Oak Bay 34 years ago. We love living here because it has been primarily a quiet bedroom community with an exceptional, unrivaled tree canopy and gorgeous well-kept gardens. This is one of the reasons my friends and I love walking in our community. Over the past decade we have lost many trees in our neighbourhood, recently 40 to demolitions and clear-cuts. We see developers come in to build their, as Karen Nelson describes them, “out of character behemoths.” They pave over most of the lot, destroying many of our beautiful mature gardens and trees. All of this sanctioned by the district’s council and planning department.

The population of Oak Bay is approximately 18,000 and in the past our taxes were not excessive to support this population with the necessary services. However, every year since 2015 our taxes have skyrocketed and are most likely the highest in B.C. relative to our population. Our population on the other hand has remained fairly constant. Why is this? What is the benefit of adding more and more administration senior staff. We are not a corporation, most corporations make a profit.

Our streets already have many off-site parked cars on both sides of our narrow streets. Do we really need many more? Getting in and out of Oak Bay is already difficult and often gridlocked. It seems to me allowing basement suites to exceed the current two-tenant limit, planning to add twice the current number and not being able to tax suite-owners rents for the services that their new tenants need, will only drive up our taxes even more.

Mary Douglas Hunt

Oak Bay