Planning Commission’s project recommendation not meaningful

APC lacked all the information needed to make a recommendation, reader says

Re: Citizen advisors approve four-storey project, Oak Bay News, Jan. 6

I am very surprised that the Advisory Planning Commission made a recommendation on Abstract Design’s multi-million dollar condominium proposal at the intersection of Bowker and Cadboro Bay Road.

I understand that the APC has no decision-making authority, they only make recommendations.

The concern is that the APC did not have the information to make an informed recommendation.

My understanding is that the official community plan (OCP) states that legally a land use proposal must be thoroughly examined and studied for its effect on: parking, traffic, affordability, trees, forest canopy, infrastructure, noise, neighbourhood feedback, density, etc.

Any informed APC recommendation must include looking at the OCP requirements.

On Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, after having seen the staff report for four days (three of which were holidays) and approximately two hours of discussion, the APC made a recommendation.

The commission did not have access to a traffic or parking study including the safety issues for Willows school and Oak Bay High students; no infrastructure impact report was presented. They did not even make a site visit so streetscape and urban forest considerations could have been intelligently assessed.

Clearly the APC was not in a position to make an informed recommendation.

Council should either  give the APC the ability to make an informed recommendation (what I believe the community expects) or disband it (and save people a lot of time and effort). There is no middle ground.

In the meantime the  APC should have a second look  at the proposal when it can provide an informed recommendation.

Mike Wilmut

Oak Bay