I am writing to express my view of the proposed development on the site of the Oak Bay Lodge. I live on Bowker Avenue just across the street. I have three points that I would like to make concerning this development, concerning usage, amenities, and parking.
I do not believe for a moment that transitional housing for substance abuse is an appropriate use for this site considering its proximity to two neighbouring schools. We should respect the covenant regarding its usage for seniors and work within those parameters. Quite honestly I believe the threat of transitional housing is being used to leverage for a higher density. Any building on the site should be in harmony with the topography of the site. It is a spectacular piece of land and should be preserved. To build a high-density development would require a massive amount of blasting and disfigure an exceptional property.
On that note, any development should provide the community with some sort of amenity. It is a spectacular site and some of that land should be set aside as a park. The gazebo on the top of the hill was iconic to this neighbourhood and it would be wonderful if it could be resurrected for the benefit of neighbourhood residents with a small park set aside. Considering the province paid $1 for the property surely some of the land could be set aside for the entire community’s benefit.
Finally, there needs to be adequate parking. The Bowker development was given spot zoning regarding parking and it has made it difficult to find a spot to park. Please do not make the same mistake as the previous council and exacerbate an already challenging situation with regards to parking.
I would like to see a modest development with adequate parking, geared towards seniors with an amenity such as a park included in the development.