Oak Bay United Church is in the process of redesigning a new development proposal for the property on Granite Street. (Black Press File Photo)

Oak Bay United preparing entirely new development application

Three scenarios being considered for Granite Street redesign

The Oak Bay United Church will return with a new development application.

In a release Tuesday morning the Oak Bay United Church’s chair Carol Martin of the Congregational Board said a consultant team prepared a new feasibility study of the property this summer and presented it to the board on Aug. 27.

The number of housing units will not be the same as the previous application and proposals, said the statement.

“The basic conclusion is that options do exist to develop the Oak Bay United property, not including the sanctuary,” Martin said.

READ MORE: United Church submits development application to Oak Bay

Last year, the church submitted a design of 96 units: 55 to 57 of which are designed to meet government criteria for affordable housing; 35 that are market – affordable units aimed to support those who don’t meet standard government criteria but still need help with affordable homes – and four to six larger units with up to three bedrooms aimed to support families.

Council never approved the application in part because of a vocal group asking for additional vehicle parking and minimal density in the area.

The consultant team is led by the United Church’s Property Resource Team and is providing leadership and oversight to the project. The team features professional consultants from Colliers International Consulting.

They will now present three scenarios to B.C. Housing and other lenders for their reaction.

READ ALSO: Neighbours wake to shocking signs on their lawns

“Each [scenario] fits within the District of Oak Bay’s stated guidelines in terms of height, mass and density, and fit with the community context. None of these options resemble the previously submitted rezoning application either in the number of housing units or site layout.”

If a development option is deemed feasible and desirable, steps will be taken to open a responsive dialogue with the neighbours and community on the new development plans and revise the rezoning application that is currently before the District of Oak Bay, the release said.

This would most likely occur during the winter of 2020.

The Oak Bay project is one of five congregational properties the Property Resource Team is currently redeveloping across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, with financial support from B.C. Housing.

“If the decision is made to move forward, Oak Bay United Church is committed to creating a redevelopment plan that will enable the church to build a project that the community and neighbourhood can embrace,” Martin said in the release.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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