Oak Bay condo development gets another chance before council Monday

Oak Bay condo development gets another chance before council Monday
Photo credit: Nicholas Pescod

Tucked away behind overgrown bushes is the most controversial property in Oak Bay. Located at 2326 Oak Bay Ave., its future may be decided Monday night at a council meeting.

Leo Spalteholz is part of the advocacy group Home for Living Victoria, which is pushing for more affordable housing in the capital region.

“There is a lot of pressure on Oak Bay right now,” Spalteholz said.

This proposed condo project has no affordable component, but Oak Bay is far behind any other municipality in the region for increasing density.

“If we look at the Oak Bay official community plan, the goal there is to grow at .5 per cent a year. They are shrinking,” Spalteholz said.

“If you look at Oak Bay’s actual housing report, they are saying we should have 130 new homes a year. They are building zero.”

And Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s Housing Minister, said Oak Bay is one of 10 cities the province is pressuring to increase density — or else.

“They’ll have six months to show us progress,” Kahlon said.

“If in six months, there is no progress, we’ll be able to see what are the barriers. If the barrier is, we just don’t want housing, then the province will have to take next steps.”

But the residents who live closest to the site say it isn’t density they are opposed to, just this project.

Douglas Manders lives directly behind the proposed development.

“We’re in favour of multi-unit development on that site and always have been. There should be some limitations on infill,” Manders said.

These neighbours feel the project will overwhelm the area.

In order to build an underground parking garage, blasting will take place for at least six months. And that’s right next door to Marilyn Noel and her husband, Ron.

“The main problem of the whole building is the darn blasting. If they could build a more modest building and not blast, perfect. Honestly. It wouldn’t disrupt the avenue, it wouldn’t take away the green streetscape,” Noel said.

“But they won’t make any compromise. And that’s upsetting.”

After more than a decade, the future of 2326 Oak Bay Ave. could finally be determined on Monday.

WATCH MORE: Oak Bay council rejects proposed condo development after nine years of planning

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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