Oak Bay’s Official Community Plan says we will consider variations to the Land Use Framework, including built form and density to achieve heritage conservation and for significant community amenity contributions (CAC’s).
Last week it was announced Abstract Developments, will pay the full cost ($180,000 plus contingencies) of a restructured intersection to calm traffic at Cadboro Bay Road and Bowker Avenue. A 50-seat restaurant was also announced. Concessions versus Contributions to date are:
• Density increase from FAR 1.9 to 2.8, or an increase of 2345 square meters (25,240 sq. feet)
• Density increase exceeds the combined area of the 9 penthouses and 2 rooftop terraces (2206 sq. m), with sales market value over $20 Million
• Variance to reduce parking requirement by 69 spaces in return for bike lane and bicycle rack
• On the plans submitted, there are 2 parking stalls for each of the 9 penthouses, but a reduced number for the restaurant/commercial space
• 6 mature Garry Oaks removed replaced with restricted growth trees and garden for exclusive use of residents
• Boulevard encroachment for replacement of sidewalks
• $180,000 contribution for District to redevelop intersection
The Mayor and 3 members of Council approved increased density based on creating ‘affordable’ alternatives for Oak Bay. And, with good public transit nearby, parking was reduced. Yet development plans clearly showed 21% of the housing units were to be luxury penthouses with 2 parking stalls each.
Oak Bay gets 43 new condominiums and 6 retail shops, increased tax revenue and $180,000 community amenity contribution for the intersection. The developer receives increased density equivalent to 9 penthouses and 2 rooftop terraces, worth millions of dollars of additional profit.
If the original offer was too low, is the new offer significant? It still seems low in comparison to millions of dollars in concessions the developer received from Oak Bay.