Thursday, May 17, 2012

Size Matters in Oak Bay - of trees and of houses

In Oak Bay, residents took to the streets in peaceful protest against the destruction of treescape caused by "big box housing" taking over the neighbourhoods. The mayor tried to turn this into a discussion about architectural choice, but it is really about the size and extent of development and whether the municipality will leave any green space. The protesting residents, who call themselves "Oak Bay Watch," are trying to preserve the green and leafy nature of their community.

Next, Mayor Jensen tried to make this be about preserving "diversity" in Oak Bay (and he does not mean biodiversity), saying in the Oak Bay News that new "... members of our community are made to feel unwelcome by those kind of things," and: "there are a lot of issues that over time will need to have debate and conversation in the community.” That is just what the conservationists are trying to have, with "those kind of things"!

Are there any new public parks being planned for Oak Bay? No. So private green space is the only green space that Oak Bay will have a chance of preserving, and it will have to be done through the municipality's zoning bylaws. Current builders of monster homes may "not be breaking any law" -- that is why the building laws need to be changed. We need to protect large lots (floor area ratio to lot size). We need to leave space for large trees, because large trees cleanse the air, provide oxygen, shade, beauty and songbird habitat. Large houses we don't need, but when they are built (as in days of yore when people perhaps put a higher value on privacy and natural beauty) they need to be put on lots of corresponding size.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that people in other parts of the world actually have real problems worth protesting.

This is bitching for the sake of bitching.