To a chorus of groans, after a six-hour conversation, council deferred the Abstract Developments proposal for Bowker Road to Monday’s regular council meeting.
The public hearings started at 6 p.m. with the bulk of the conversation surrounding the proposal for a four-storey, mixed-use building at the corner of Bowker and Cadboro Bay. The public filled the 400-seat Dave Dunnet Community Theatre early on with the crowd thinning as the evening gave way to Thursday morning.
Coun. Eric Zhelka made the suggestion, that found support after discussion.
“It’s an important decision and I would rather be clear-headed,” said Coun. Tara Ney.
Couns. Michelle Kirby, Kevin Murdoch and Hazel Braithwait opposed the delay.
“It’s our duty to make a decision tonight,” Kirby said.
Input from the public continued to be split. Those opposed see the building as too tall, too wide, too much for the site. Traffic and parking are also concerns.
Those supportive cite this as an opportunity for Oak Bay to densify responsibly in an area designated secondary village. Most agreed that something should be done with the site.
The adjacent intersection, cited as dangerous by most, also made the conversation cut.
The earlier public hearing focused on bylaws to allow for changes in use at Oak Bay Marina.
Council expects to discuss the bylaws during its Monday, May 8 meeting.