Revisions not enough for residents around Oak Bay Lodge

Council defers decision on Lodge replacement to Oct. 24 to allow for more consultation

Changes to the proposed Garry Oaks Village

Changes to the proposed Garry Oaks Village

Last-minute changes to plans for a $140-million replacement for Oak Bay Lodge proved inadequate for the dozens of neighbours who showed up Tuesday to oppose it at council.

Baptist Housing proposes to replace the current facility with a larger incarnation, to be known as Garry Oaks Village. On Oct. 3, council directed the non-profit social service provider to lessen the impact of the building on immediate neighbours.

In response, Baptist Housing revised the plan for the site, shifting the entire building north by six metres and reconfiguring the four wings of the facility away from Hampshire and Cranmore roads.

“In our discussions at the last committee of the whole meeting, council (asked) if we (reduce) the setback along Cadboro Bay Road could we pull (the building) away from the homes along Hampshire?” said Dayle Krahn, chief property and development officer for Baptist Housing.

“And we said ‘yeah we could.’ We’ve tried to deal with the concerns the residents had before.”

To address traffic concerns, the proposed Cranmore entrance has been designated for emergency vehicles only.

The kitchen was also moved west, away from houses on Hampshire Road.

Moving the building means it will stand slightly shorter than the former proposal – at 44 metres rather than 45 – because the land slopes downward at the site’s north end.

The building would still stand 5.47 m taller than the current lodge – an unacceptable height according to all but one of the speakers at Tuesday night’s meeting.

While most complimented the various changes to the plan, they said they didn’t go far enough.

“Six storeys, and even five, are imposing and seriously impact the neighbourhood,” said Lois Bender, who lives on Cranmore.

“The proposal to increase the number of (complex care) beds to 320 is driving the whole design in an unsuitable way. The result is a towering, massive building envelope (that is) simply too high and too big for this small, oddly shaped piece of property.”

Hampshire resident John Rankin questioned the need for 40 extra beds.

“That number has not been addressed enough,” he said. “That’s why we have a municipal government … Don’t be sidetracked by the rush of the applicant.”

That rush, defined by some at the meeting as a threat, is fueled by the promise of $80 million in upfront financing, pending project approval, explained Rudi van den Broek, chief project officer with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Garry Oaks Village, together with the new Mount View Campus of Care in Saanich, will replace 580 of the health authority’s worst complex-care beds, van den Broek said.

“If this portion of the project doesn’t go forward, then the whole thing will be stopped until it can be rebuilt from the ground up. If that involves very much delay at all, then the financing will stop.”

But Coun. Tara Ney questioned why the Saanich facility couldn’t take on more beds, to reduce the number required at the new facility in Oak Bay.

Mount View is slated to have 260 complex care beds in a seven-storey building.

The need to densify found a sympathetic ear with Theatre Alley resident Jim Kirk.

“In urban living, six storeys is not very high,” he said. “The other issue that people are focusing on ad infinitum is density. The babies are born, the people are there, you have to densify. It’s time to grow up.”

Oak Bay council, however, felt the applicant needed to do more to work within the community.

“I think we’re getting closer to the answer,” said Coun. Nils Jensen, who strongly recommended that Baptist Housing engage in consultations with the neighbourhood before returning to council Oct. 24.

He added that unlike other large projects council has dealt with in past, such as the new Oak Bay High, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and Carlton House seniors complex, the tight timeline puts council under pressure to make a decision.

– with files from Erin Cardone

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read