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Residents protest proposed design plans for new Oak Bay Lodge

Jun 17 2012

Plans to revamp Oak Bay Lodge prompted a protest by local residents on Saturday.

"For one thing, it's the height, it's way too tall," said Oak Bay resident Ross Williams. "There's not enough parking spots. We're inundated with people parking on the street."

Baptist Housing, in concert with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, is trying to get approval to demolish the lodge at 2251 Cadboro Bay Rd. and replace it with a 320-bed facility for Greater Victoria seniors with dementia who require complex care.

Williams said that many of his neighbours aren't happy with the proposal.

A large sign reading "How high is too high" was the centerpiece of the protest.

"It's too big a building for the size of the property, twice the size of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel," he said. "It'll stick out like a sore thumb."

Williams plans to attend a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the $80-million redevelopment of Oak Bay Lodge. The residential care building has 150 shared rooms.

Oak Bay council rejected the proposed redevelopment in November 2011. Baptist Housing has since revised its plans, reducing the height of much of the building to five storeys from six and moving the planned building farther from the property line.

"I hope they get the same results as November," Williams said in anticipation of Tuesday's meeting. "People are going to let the council know exactly how they feel."

Dayle Khran from the Baptist Housing Society said he doesn't think concerns about the project are justified, but that community members have the right to protest.

"The building will affect them," Khran said.

He said he doesn't want to see the community lose care beds. "[Oak Bay Lodge] doesn't meet the current care standard," he said. "It doesn't allow for the best care of the patients."

Tuesday's meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Monterey Recreation Centre. cclancy@timescolonist.com

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