A proposed condo development that has been in the works for nine years has been rejected by councillors in Oak Bay.
On Monday, District of Oak Bay councillors voted 4-3 in favour of rejecting a proposed four-storey, 14-unit condominium building called The Quest.
“Quite honestly, I was speechless. I mean this is a four-storey building in between two four-storey buildings on Oak Bay Avenue,” said Kim Coplman, chief executive officer of Large and Co. Development Company — the company behind the proposed building.
The development was first proposed by Large and Co. Development Company nine years ago but was withdrawn when the District of Oak Bay began reviewing its OCP.
The company then submitted a new revised proposal in 2017 that was eventually rejected by councillors.
So they went back to the drawing board.
Coplman says the decision not to allow a public hearing sends a strong message to developers interested in any type of project in Oak Bay.
“Well, they don’t is the short answer. There’s very few developers that will come into Oak Bay. It takes too long,” said Coplman.
“Residents in Oak Bay need to start paying attention or more than they have.”
David Perry is with the advocacy group, Homes for Living YYJ, which is pushing for more affordable housing and he says Oak Bay is falling short.
“They are so far behind other municipalities, they’re by far the worst in region. Yeah, it’s pretty shocking to see other pretty much all the municipalities well, all of them in the core are being built out.”
Mayor Kevin Murdoch says it’s worth having residents’ input.
“I really do see the value of public input because it allows you to capture the pros and cons of these types of applications in a way that you can’t just with a small number of people at the table.”
The provincial government is considering legislation that would bypass municipalities that stall when it comes to issuing permits for housing construction, according to Victoria NDP MLA Grace Lore.
“I think there’s there are folks looking into all tools available, reviewing options for when that’s not the case. Because we are in a housing crisis.”
None of the four councillors who voted against the project would make themselves available for an interview by the deadline.