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LETTER: Questionnaire could provide direction on secondary suites

The currently being designed suite questionnaire is an opportunity for community input on suite regulation in Oak Bay. Below are seven questions that cover major parts of suite regulation and implementation.

Is it owner occupied? Should there be mandatory or voluntary registration (A or B)? Should it be user pay or community pay (A or B)? Should there be common health and safety checks for all suites? Should there be evidence-based decisions regarding parking and traffic issues that ensure “gentle densification”? Should there be serious enforcement of rules? Do you approve of suite regulations as part of a completed housing study or immediately (A or B)?

The number of yes (and A) answers gives a number or “score” from 0 to 7. A high score means a desire for slow, evidence-based regulations and implementation while a low score means a desire for quick, without much supporting data, regulations and implementation.

This is a very contentious issue. For example, from watching council meetings it is clear that four councillors support a high-score approach and two support a low-score approach.

If the above questions are included in the questionnaire it would allow the community to clearly, objectively express their voice on an issue very important to them. Then suite regulations and implementation, supported by the majority of the Oak Bay community, is doable.

Mike Wilmut

Oak Bay