With all due respect to Mark Parsons (Letters, Jan. 23), I would like to point out that no matter where the writer chooses to live he would have some restrictions on what he can build or do on his property. If he or anyone chooses to do something in poor taste under the zoning rules, little can be done – other than rolling our eyes. However, our community plan and bylaws provide the balance between the individual’s and neighbour’s property rights.
From the tone of recent letters there seems to be some confusion about the current zoning issue in Oak Bay. It’s not all that complicated. In 2007 the zoning bylaw was changed significantly – this change allowed overly large intrusive houses to be built on small lots. This has impacted neighboring properties and resulted in the loss of views, sunlight and privacy. Other impacts include loss of trees, demolitions and in some cases damage to adjacent homes. It is obvious corrective action is required.
This zoning problem has been recognized by council, staff, and a citizen’s group. Many individual residents have filed complaints with the municipality. The problem is: although records show council has been aware of these circumstances since mid-2011, it has taken no remedial action. There have been many resident delegations, presentations and staff reports advocating a return to a balanced zoning approach – however to date nothing has been done.
The present council initiative to form yet another committee is just causing further delay and nothing will be done anytime soon – or at least until the next election.