Clive project too big for the avenue

If approved, the Clive development will displace eight affordable housing units with just over twice that number but, with increased rents.

There is no doubt the Clive development proposal far exceeds Oak Bay’s building standards.

It is much too overbuilt for the setting and this has been noted by some members of council. It also contravenes both our community plan and our zoning and parking bylaws by a long way. This legislation, for the most part, has made Oak Bay the desirable community it is today. In 2007, council mistakenly changed our zoning bylaw and allowed overbuilding – that bylaw is currently under review for remedial action.

If approved, the Clive development will displace eight affordable housing units with just over twice that number but, with significantly increased rents.

The developer has indicated mainly seniors will rent the new units. Most multi-dwelling units in Oak Bay are already restricted to seniors.

Municipal staff and a planner hired to assist in the development process have indicated that to receive approval, the Clive proposal will require council to pass a new zoning category specific to that site. The problem with this is allowing over-development sets a precedent and several senior staff have explained it would be difficult for council to turn down any similar requests. There are many similar sites in Oak Bay and the danger is if developed to the same specifications, many affordable rental-housing units in Oak Bay could be impacted with large rental increases. This situation is contrary to what council and the Capital Regional District are trying to accomplish. It is also in opposition to the provincial government’s mandated objective of having municipalities bare the brunt of the costs of providing more affordable housing stock.

Anthony Mears

Oak Bay