The third revision of a development proposal for an Oak Bay property still isn’t sitting well with a group of residents in the area.
John Tiffany and 12 other Oak Bay residents compose the ‘Concerned Neighbours of Oak Bay:’ a group with ongoing concerns about 2326 Oak Bay Ave. – a parcel of land where developers Large & Co. have been trying to build ‘The Quest’ a multi-unit residential building, since 2017.
Currently the lot houses a single-family house, but the developer’s proposal – revised and submitted to the District of Oak Bay for a second time – is for a four-storey, 14-unit condominium building with 14 underground parking stalls.
The latest revisions – made in response to community and council feedback – include reducing the building’s total square footage, density and height.
Large & Co.’s documentation also says it has eliminated the entire penthouse unit from its proposal, as well as rooftop amenities (such as gardens, activities and exercise areas). The proposal says it will retain an adjacent Garry oak and plant three new ones.
But for John Tiffany, who has lived in the neighbourhood since 2014, that isn’t enough. Plus he says the proposal has hardly changed from its first iteration.
“It’s too large, it’s too high and it’s too close to adjacent buildings,” he said. “It’s still the same size, it takes up over 50 per cent of the lot.”
Tiffany said the group isn’t against development, but would rather see a couple townhouses or a significantly reduced condo building with about two thirds of ‘The Quest’s’ proposed 14 units.
Another issue for residents is that the proposal appears to violate the Official Community Plan (OCP).
“The proposed development … violates various siting guidelines in the OCP which are in place to protect the neighbours, neighbourhoods, and character of Oak Bay,” Tiffany said.
The District of Oak Bay says the new proposal and rezoning application will have to be reviewed by multiple staff departments before it can be brought forward for council’s decision.
Although Large & Co hosted a public consultation Feb. 26, Tiffany and the rest of the ‘concerned neighbours’ say they want a “jointly organized genuine community-developer consultation process that might provide for a win-win use of 2326 Oak Bay Avenue.”