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Community plan response to change
CJ Murray is wildly off-base with the assertion that “the objective of Oak Bay’s next OCP is to increase density by means of infill residential development” (Letters May 28).
What the draft OCP actually says is that the current housing mix in Oak Bay is getting farther and farther out of step with the people who live here. If something isn’t done about it, more young families will leave for better, cheaper houses in other communities and more older people will leave because they can’t find suitable single-storey, low maintenance housing within the community.
And when they go, they’ll be increasingly replaced by boomers who don’t want old, drafty houses and have the money to tear down and build new.
Since 2009, in fact, the number of new houses built in Oak Bay every year has almost doubled. The draft OCP simply recognizes this and sets out the options for doing something about it. It will be up to future councils to decide what is done and when.
CJ Murray also doesn’t seem to understand that the OCP wasn’t built around the community survey. The survey was only one of many ways people voiced their hopes and dreams for the community.
The OCP committee received literally hundreds of pages of written submissions from concerned citizens and engaged in countless hours of direct conversation with people at open houses and in the community at large.
What the committee heard loud and clear is that people want Oak Bay to meet their needs, not just now, but in the future when they can’t live in their single-family home or they can’t get up stairs or their children need something cheaper than a house but better than an illegal basement suite.