LETTER: Vehicles shouldn’t be driving Oak Bay’s secondary suite policy

Re: “Off-street parking added to impending secondary suite policy.” It’s pretty pathetic when, in the middle of a climate emergency that recently incinerated or flooded half our province, our municipal officials are obsessing over the housing and comfort of automobiles.

Oak Bay’s proposed policy will require homeowners to provide on-property parking for a tenant’s car as a condition of having a legal suite. Who could possibly be willing to pave over their beautiful garden or backyard for this purpose, and at what expense? How many trees, shrubs and vegetable gardens are to be sacrificed for this wasteful and unenforceable scheme?

This is a thinly-veiled guise for keeping Oak Bay the way it is — exclusive, snobby and affluent — certainly not a neighbourhood for students on a budget, working-class single parents, or the people who flip your burgers. Let those people live in Woss.

Oak Bay owes it to the housing crisis to remove as many obstacles as possible for those wanting to rent out extra living space.

On the Oak Bay residential street with which I am most familiar, there is a steady stream of pedestrians and bicyclists, perhaps on par with the number of cars. It’s nice and quiet. I would guess that a welcome amenity for many tenants would be secure indoor bike parking.

The B.C. Coroners Service reports nearly 600 deaths due to extreme temperatures of over 40 C in last summer’s heat dome. Any municipality that purports to be taking action against fossil fuel emissions should not be bending over backwards for the convenience of private cars.

Anne Hansen


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