Living in an area where many homes are a century old, I am concerned – as are many of my neighbours – that we will soon see a wrecking ball and blasting mats on a neighbour’s lawn.
The monster house fiasco now playing out in Oak Bay is the result of inadequate community planning and faulty zoning regulations. Added to the problem are real estate speculators, without community pride, who build to maximize profits, rather than enhance the neighbourhood.
Oak Bay is the only CRD municipality that does not have planning as part of its budget. Most residents are unaware of the issues surrounding planning – or lack of planning – in Oak Bay. The problems created with council’s planning by variance rather than hiring a planner are unfolding at a rapid rate.
A monster hotel, monster houses and now a monster hospital are the result of inadequate, non-professional community planning. Trying to keep the tax rate down by understaffing is poor fiscal management.
In Oak Bay, change seems to be on hold – waiting for the Official Community Plan, waiting for the CRD deer report, waiting for the new municipal website, waiting for a staff review – nothing gets done and the problems persist.