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Oak Bay's crumbling infrastructure


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#41 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 07:05 AM

Apart from the works yard to drop your junk, how much interaction does the average homeowner even need to have with "City Hall" (civic buildings)?

 

I've lived in CoV for over 25 years now, both as a property owner (14 years) and renter, and I have NEVER had to go to City Hall on personal business.  I've never been into any of the public works compounds, and I've not been inside the Crystal Pool for at least 30 years.

 

I guess I have been to RAP 60 times in the last 3 years, the arena probably the same.  And BHP a few times.


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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#42 tedward

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 07:36 AM

http://www.timescolo...ipes-1.14657215

 

I think it's a wonderful opportunity to be innovative.  

 

- See more at: http://www.timescolo...h.Nn1h0GCZ.dpuf

 

Can Oak Bay and Victoria share a fire hall?  A library?  Surely they could share a library.

 

Can Oak Bay build any of those building with shared residential to save money?

 

Fire hall? Maybe. At least it is worth looking at on a "regional" level.
 

Library? Not a chance. We have lots of library branches all over the city. Building a new library/community centre facility with residential rentals above? That sounds like a great idea.


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#43 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 07:52 AM

I think that's what libraries are becoming, community ever centres. Borrowing of collections is flat or down.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#44 todd

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 08:54 AM

Apart from the works yard to drop your junk, how much interaction does the average homeowner even need to have with "City Hall" (civic buildings)?

 

I've lived in CoV for over 25 years now, both as a property owner (14 years) and renter, and I have NEVER had to go to City Hall on personal business.  I've never been into any of the public works compounds, and I've not been inside the Crystal Pool for at least 30 years.

 

I guess I have been to RAP 60 times in the last 3 years, the arena probably the same.  And BHP a few times.

Yes and the Oak Bay the dump is one of the saddest examples of interaction with the District Of Oak Bay, the place has well turned into a dump.

 

Municipal workers in Oak Bay seem to have gotten spoiled over the years.


Edited by todd, 10 April 2017 - 08:57 AM.

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#45 johnk

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 08:57 AM

That would be nice maybe for a time(o[/size]r somewhere in the municipality)[/size], I would rather(or at least eventually) see it torn down and made into a parking lot for Oak Bay [/size]Avenue [/size][color=#000000]
as was the original plan.[/size][/
color]


More parking lots is certainly "going green". If they want to do that then they should ditch their eco-babble.

#46 johnk

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 08:59 AM

Fire hall? Maybe. At least it is worth looking at on a "regional" level.
 
Library? Not a chance. We have lots of library branches all over the city. Building a new library/community centre facility with residential rentals above? That sounds like a great idea.

Done. OB library was reovated in 1999 with 4 or 5 rental units above.
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#47 todd

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:07 AM

More parking lots is certainly "going green". If they want to do that then they should ditch their eco-babble.

Still need a reasonable amount of parking. There is a lot of mobility challenged people in Oak Bay.

 

Could do a green space mixed with parking to offset the carbon???

 

 

 

The municipality also owns the tod house not sure if it's going to be vacant anytime soon however. Of course both of these places were formally rented out subsidizing municipal taxes.


Edited by todd, 10 April 2017 - 09:14 AM.


#48 johnk

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:08 AM

I'm baffled and depressed as to why Oak Bay is struggling with these infrastructure issues.
 
OB has some of Canada's most expensive real estate. It has very little crime or fires for emergency services to worry about. 
 
If they can't handle their infrastructure deficiencies, what hope does any other jurisdiction have? Is infrastructure deficit an unsolvable problem?

One difficulty is OB has a tiny commercial tax base. The vast bulk of tax revenues come from residents and the pols certainly know how much homeowners love property taxes.
If you're rich enough they can sometimes be skirted. David Black's late wife figured out if she grew and sold a few plants she could get Riffington classed as a farm. Reduced the Blacks' tax bill by about 90% which means everyone else had to pay more to make up the shortfall.

#49 johnk

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:11 AM

Still need a reasonable amount of parking. [/size]There is a lot of mobility challenged people in Oak Bay.[/size]
 
Could do a green space mixed with parking to offset the carbon???[/size]

I have no difficulty with helping out people with mobility issues. I don't want parking lots for idiots with SUVs the size of boxcars.

#50 todd

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:27 AM

I have no difficulty with helping out people with mobility issues. I don't want parking lots for idiots with SUVs the size of boxcars.

Okay think we can compromise here: “small car only".


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#51 todd

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:29 AM

One difficulty is OB has a tiny commercial tax base. The vast bulk of tax revenues come from residents and the pols certainly know how much homeowners love property taxes.
If you're rich enough they can sometimes be skirted. David Black's late wife figured out if she grew and sold a few plants she could get Riffington classed as a farm. Reduced the Blacks' tax bill by about 90% which means everyone else had to pay more to make up the shortfall.

Did he get away with that in the long term?


Edited by todd, 10 April 2017 - 09:30 AM.


#52 johnk

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

Did he get away with that in the long term?[/size]


Not sure if it continued after his wife died but it lasted at least several years. Mrs johnk bought plants from her on an informal basis before she got the farm tax-dodge idea.

#53 Rob Randall

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:59 AM

If I understand correctly, the entire economic foundation of communities like Oak Bay is hopelessly flawed.

 

Oak Bay's urban core is hemmed in by residential development and is unlikely to expand outward or upward. So no significant new commercial revenue.

 

Citizen resistance to tax increases mean no new revenue there, either. I suspect many older residents are deferring their property taxes, which makes budgeting even more difficult.

 

Again, I am surprised at all this because I assumed Oak Bay had it made compared to the other munis. They don't have the social burden of Victoria or the sprawling infrastructure of Saanich or the lack of commercial opportunities of North Saanich or the Highlands.


Edited by Rob Randall, 10 April 2017 - 09:59 AM.

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#54 rjag

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:03 AM

One difficulty is OB has a tiny commercial tax base. The vast bulk of tax revenues come from residents and the pols certainly know how much homeowners love property taxes.
If you're rich enough they can sometimes be skirted. David Black's late wife figured out if she grew and sold a few plants she could get Riffington classed as a farm. Reduced the Blacks' tax bill by about 90% which means everyone else had to pay more to make up the shortfall.

 

That was appealed and I think CRA got really grumpy about it and the farm status was nixed due to OB not having farm zoning, not to forget the Uplands Covenants. I think they got away with it until it was clarified in the courts



#55 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:04 AM

Citizen resistance to tax increases mean no new revenue there, either. I suspect many older residents are deferring their property taxes, which makes budgeting even more difficult.

 

In that case, the province pays the taxes to the municipality.


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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#56 rjag

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:07 AM

I have no difficulty with helping out people with mobility issues. I don't want parking lots for idiots with SUVs the size of boxcars.

 

Why? Whats the connection with the size of vehicle?

Most old fogies drive brown Buicks or Caddy's that are longer than the standard Range Rover. Heck my old ranger pick-up is longer than my GX 470! 



#57 todd

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:23 AM

Classic british style sweeping the mess under a tweed curtain. I don't think things are hopeless and the current mayor has done a pretty good overall job with what he's got to work with.

#58 johnk

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:32 AM

OB is pretty well built out. There are a handful of vacant lots but otherwise people often have to tear down to get what they want. Many of those "picturesque" old cottages are junkers or 1100 sq ft, impossible to live in for today's families.
The business tax base is very small, made up mainly of retail and service businesses. There are no malls or big office buildings, one hotel and one guest house. Two golf clubs pay tax but I suspect less than the yield from being residential land. It's unlikely Uplands GC or Victoria GC will sell out to development. Developers need somewhere to meet and do business!

#59 Rob Randall

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:40 AM

It just baffles me that so much of our existing infrastructure was built 100 years ago when Victoria's population was little more than 35,000. Now the CRD population is ten times that and we can't even maintain what was already built.


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“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”


#60 todd

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 01:19 PM

one hotel and one guest house!

And about 60 Airbnbs.



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