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LETTER: Costs have to be part of the equation

Two things were evident to me from viewing Oak Bay council’s Sept. 8 public hearing.

One, the phrase “housing crisis” was frequently used without including the word “affordability.” Whether or not secondary suites or housing of other types will provide the affordable pricing required to meet the definition of “affordable” doesn’t seem to be considered. New-to-market accommodation will be priced at market value. Whether that will match up to “affordable” has yet to be seen.

Two, there is no differentiating between the potential capacity of utilities such as sewer and water and the ability of Oak Bay’s ancient system to carry the load. As an example, the Windsor Road sanitary sewer upgrade, where simple connections to existing lines became far more complex (and expensive) as existing infrastructure crumbled and had to be replaced. We need to know what loads Oak Bay’s ancient system can carry before more demand is put on it. We also need to know what the costs to taxpayers will be for the loads being exceeded and how those costs will be apportioned.

Graham Bell

Oak Bay