Density increase still possible for Royal Bay in Colwood

After almost four-and-a-half hours, the committee decided to defer a decision for the property on Royal Bay Drive

Re: Royal Bay build hits roadblock (News, May 29)

Your subtitle (Colwood committee says no to proposed density increase) is somewhat misleading.

I attended the May 21 meeting with the Colwood Planning Committee with 160 fellow Royal Bay homeowners. After almost four-and-a-half hours, the committee decided to defer a decision for the property at 467 Royal Bay Dr.

It was strong community opposition that led to the deferment. Never did this committee outright oppose increased density. Committee members mentioned several times the OCP was outdated and should be changed to reflect today’s slower real estate market.

Every homeowner who spoke voiced unanimous opposition to this proposed development and bylaw changes. A petition was presented to the committee that evening.

The current OCP is for 38 townhomes. Misra Architect Ltd. first presented a plan for 128 residences, including two six-storey buildings, then a plan for 70 residences, mixed apartment and townhomes. Both plans were presented at well-attended public meetings.

Royal Bay is a carefully planned community. Allowing high-density blocks of apartments and townhomes next to single family homes without proper transition shows lack of planning. Council shouldn’t be asking existing property owners to accept losses on their homes’ value.

Seemingly arbitrary changes to zoning bylaws undermine council’s authority and standing.  Colwood cannot attract qualified developers if it is too willing to change bylaws to fit its commitment to increase density at any cost, including reputation.

Sandra Jones

Colwood