The Hammer Falls: The Quest development is now officially approved in Oak Bay

October 13, 2023

How nice for the Province to demand housing targets at exactly this point in time.

This is what the chief executive at Large & Co said last year:

"“This is why the province is stepping in — Minister David Eby is saying, come the fall, the hammer’s going to fall,” said Kim Colpman, chief executive at Large & Co., the company that had proposed the Quest ­building at 2326 Oak Bay Ave. The ­project has been in the works since 2017. “I believe he thinks they’re not doing their job to get houses to market,” she said."

I wrote this letter in response to that last year:

""Don’t blame Oak Bay for a national problem" [March 29, 2022 - Times Colonist]

Also published in the Oak Bay News as: "Oak Bay a scapegoat for housing crisis"

Large & Co is a member of the UDI development and real estate lobby and it was the UDI that asked the Province to introduce the housing targets.

""Oak Bay council finally, unanimously, approved condo project The Quest after more than 10 years of rejections.

In the end, it took just a minute for Oak Bay council to approve its most contentious and controversial development, and Large and Co. developer, Pam Coplman, can’t believe it’s finally happening.

“Well, thrilled. I mean there is nothing else to say,” said Coplman on Thursday. “It’s been 10 years, and it actually still feels a little surreal. It doesn’t feel like it’s happened. It’s a great feeling to actually move forward.”

First proposed by Large and Co. Development more than a decade ago, council rejected the four-storey condo development several times, including in 2022, when councillors refused to allow a public hearing.

But Coplman persisted, and says the timing worked in her favour.

“Honestly I think it’s political. When you have the pressure from the province, and also the community, they really want housing of all kinds, they just can’t afford to say no,” Coplman said.

Earlier this year, the province announced housing targets for municipalities on its so-called ‘naughty list’ that are lagging on housing, including Oak Bay, which has a goal of building 660 units over the next 10 years.

B.C. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says the province’s goal is to build more housing.

“We have legislation coming this fall which will allow up to four units on single family lots, transit-oriented development, So there is a whole host of things that will come to ensure that local governments meet their targets,” he said.

Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch says this decision proves the municipality is moving in the right direction.""

Quoted from CHEK News article Oct 12, 2023 "Oak Bay council finally approves project after 10 years".

It should also be noted that the municipality of Oak Bay is a paying member of the UDI and Kevin Murdock was the mover of a motion at the CRD several years ago that gave the UDI a permanent seat on the Regional Housing Advisory Committee along with a number of other organizations/lobbies. All of those organizations/lobbies with permanent seats on that committee in one form or another are paying members of the UDI.

Similarly, 2 days ago, the Province announced the creation of a digital advisory council, where the UDI and other organizations have a seat.

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