Stop clear-cutting Oak Bay

Yet another modern house will be built in our community on Monterey Avenue

Yet another modern house will be built in our community on Monterey Avenue. It is not only at odds with the esthetic of neighbouring homes but three magnificent 50-foot mature trees were unnecessarily removed in the process.

Healthy, mature trees are sacrificed for the sake of achieving maximum size of house and maximum profits. Sadly, this is an increasingly common occurrence in our community.

We, the residents, need to request that our council put in place a committee that can protect against overdevelopment, protect existing trees, review building designs to maintain and respect the features and characteristics which are important for the quality of neighbourhoods, ensure compliance to the community plan, and take into consideration the opinion of neighbours.

The municipality responds to these concerns with ‘the builders are within their right under the current bylaw.’ But what about the rights of residents?

We have also heard the argument that these new houses with increased property values generate revenue for the municipality, but we would do well to look to the history of other communities of historic homes similar to ours. In many of those communities, when ‘modern’ box-builds reach a certain ratio, the value of all the homes in the community decreases, while sensitive new homes and preservation of existing homes and natural environment increases value.

It is truly disheartening that the municipality of Oak Bay allows this to continue. And the fact that beautiful trees were unnecessarily destroyed in the process is unacceptable.

The municipality must act to preserve the character of our heritage neighbourhoods and stop allowing the clear-cutting of Oak Bay.

R. and C. Knowlton

Oak Bay