Letters to the Editor – Development activities clarified by councillor

Re: Community being carved up by greedy developers (Letters, June 1)

I thought I should answer some of the issues raised by Y.B. Douglas in his recent letter.

There have been no subdivisions on Uplands Road in recent times. There has been one lot consolidation where two lots were combined into one on Burdick Avenue.

Oak Bay has not approved any multiple-family dwellings in the period I have been on council.

There have been several situations where a single-family dwelling sitting on two lots has been bought, torn down and houses built on each of the two lots. In most of these situations, the houses that have been built have required no variances.

There are more variance applications and approvals than there used to be.

One reason for that is we increased the setback requirements for the Uplands a few years ago to require more space between houses. The result of this change was that many existing houses became non-conforming and required a variance to make any change.

Another reason is that we eliminated the floor-area ratio formula for small lots in zones RS4 and RS5, which could not be varied, and replaced it with a stated gross-floor limit which can be varied.

This was done to prevent “monster houses” being built and to allow minor additions to many older homes to accommodate growing families.

Under the old formula, many older homes were torn down because they could not make any additions.

I can assure you I spend many hours each week caring about this great community.

Coun. John Herbert