I am writing in regard to the articles and letters in the Oak Bay News on the subject of style of new houses.
Stating that overpowering houses are a matter of taste is the easiest way of denying the problem. If we continue this way, Oak Bay will loose the tradition of building that is a part of our unique landscape.
One example is a house on Barkley Terrace. The previous house, demolished just a few years ago, was part of a rocky sloping site with winding pathways around the house which blended in well with the natural rock formation.
The present owner shaved a million year old geological formation and filled the leveled ground with a large house of rectangular shapes with an entire level as a garage for a collection of antique cars. What would you call it: taste or crime?
Are we allowed to keep building similar large containers? Or shall we have a broader vision and adapt the house to the local landscape? The municipality should implement size constraints so new houses will blend better into their surroundings. And where is the concern for energy issues? If a new house or commercial building is built, solar panels should be added at least for hot water.
If building regulations will not change, our time frame will show up in the history as a square minded period to put it mildly.
There are new houses, some with a very modern design, built with sensitivity to the surrounding, but many look like cancerous growths and often built for resale in a few years.
I hope the municipality will open its eyes to the growing problem and revise the existing building regulations before Oak Bay loses its distinctive character.