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Re: Invitation to dialogue on Oak Bay United Church housing proposal (Letters, OakBayNews.com, Aug. 9)

A car speeds through a residential neighbourhood at 150 km/h. The driver touches the brakes, slowing the car to 100 km/h.

Question: Is the car still speeding?

Applying David King’s logic, the answer is no. Look at the concessions the driver has made by reducing speed.

The residents of the affected area see things quite differently.

In March 2017 the Oak Bay United Church applied for a $500,000 taxpayer loan based on building a six storey, 269 unit building. The maximum zoning for the entire district is less than 1/5 of that: 50 units per acre. Why the OBUC proposed such an overscale project remains a mystery.

A few possible reasons spring to mind: overconfidence in their ability to strongarm a community to change its standards ad hoc; a desire to obtain the maximum forgivable loan from the BC Housing Commission; or lack of knowledge of Oak Bay zoning rules exacerbated by inexperience.

None of that matters now. The project, as the neighbours were last allowed to see it, was still over height, an unacceptable density, and done with no meaningful dialogue with the immediate community.

It’s time to put the brakes on this project until the critical issues of size, traffic problems and infrastructure overload are more closely examined.

M. Bolitho

Oak Bay

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