OAK BAY: Hold vote before OCP

The objective of Oak Bay’s existing (1996) official community plan was to maintain quiet, low density residential neighbourhoods.

The objective of Oak Bay’s existing (1996) official community plan was to maintain quiet, low density residential neighbourhoods.

The objective of Oak Bay’s next OCP is to increase density by means of infill residential development.

The new plan encourages subdivision of existing lots and construction of new houses with larger floor ratios and greater heights.

The old goals of maintaining Oak Bay’s green landscaped character and low profile buildings are replaced by goals of growth and densification.

Although the draft of the new plan pays lip service to provision of more affordable housing, experience of such “densification” indicates that old houses are torn down and replaced by two or three large new ones that are not more affordable.

Although the draft of the new plan makes repeated reference to the survey that was mailed out to residents, that survey did not ask whether residents favour densification and left residents no way to express opposition to it.

If mayor Jensen and Oak Bay council are eager to spur on Oak Bay’s growth so that new houses will be built at a much greater rate than CRD forecasts (the draft plan suggests 72 new houses per year instead of the projected 28) then I suggest they campaign on such a change in the fall election before making this new plan the law.

I do not recall anyone mentioning this radical change during the last campaign and the residents of Oak Bay are entitled to make their choices known before the bulldozers move in.

C.J. Murray

Oak Bay