Limit monster homes in Uplands: Oak Bay councillor

Oak Bay council will discuss the issue further in 2014

Limiting the size of large homes on large lots in the Uplands is an issue at least one Oak Bay councilllor wants addressed.

Coun. John Herbert originally raised the issue in 2011, after minimum side setbacks for large homes were increased in the upscale neighbourhood.

Herbert said he has observed an increasing number of “very, very” large homes being built in the Uplands and wants to pre-empt future problems.

“You might get a house built that is out of context of the neighbourhood,” he said. “It’s the next step of enlarging the setback rules.”

Currently, Oak Bay homes are limited to 25-per-cent coverage of residential lots, including those in Uplands, which tend to be larger.

“On a two-acre lot, 25 per cent is a 1/2-acre home, Herbert said. “You would never think anybody would do that, but if you look at the houses being built now, they are getting larger and larger. I would like to look at that and see a reasonable way to deal with that before it happens.”

A report written by consulting planner Hope Burns acknowledged council’s concern over the potential for construction of very large houses that may not fit into a neighbourhood.

Burns cautioned council that a zoning change to restrict maximum home size would “generate significant concern” and “may generate opposition” if a proper impact study is not conducted first.

Council referred the issue to its strategic planning and priorities session for 2014.

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