Letters Sept. 12: 11 storeys is 17; bird-scaring noise; room for deer

When 11 storeys is really 17

There is a bit of confusion regarding the Telus office complex planned for the corner of Douglas and Humboldt Streets. Architecturally it is an impressive structure. The building is being touted as an 11 storey commercial building by Telus. However, in fact it’s the equivalent of a 17 storey residential structure (53 metres).

We are being told that commercial floors are greater in height than residential floors. But there’s a huge difference between an 11 storey structure and a 17 storey structure.

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As they move forward with their application, Telus should clarify the height equivalency.

Bob Bardagy

Don’t allow bird-scaring noise devices

Audible bird scaring devices produce a bird distress call designed to scare seagulls. For humans, the noise is cringe-worthy and upsetting since there is a desire to go rescue the animal in distress. People often mistake them for real birds until they realize that the sound persists all day, sometimes every minute.

Sample noises can be found by searching Youtube for “Birdexpeller Pro”.

These devices are extremely irritating but are not currently covered under the Victoria noise bylaw. Unlike other noises such as leaf blowers or barking dogs which are somewhat transient, the bird scaring noisemakers produce sounds constantly. Since they are installed on building rooftops they are not generally heard by residents of the building but are annoying to the rest of the neighbours.

The City of Victoria and Point Hope Shipyard both use “falcon kites” which are inexpensive and far more neighbour-friendly.

The City of Abbotsford does not permit the bird-scaring noisemakers within 100 metres of a dwelling nor can they produce a noise more than 10 times an hour. Since these noisemaking devices are even more problematic in urban areas, the City of Victoria should enact a similar bylaw.

Darrell Pfeifer
Vic West

Leaving lodge empty is unconscionable

The Capital Regional District board’s decision to leave Oak Bay Lodge vacant, rather than using it to house the homeless during the triple crises the region faces, is unconscionable. All of the “obstacles” cited in announcing this decision can be overcome if there is the will to do so.

To those directors who voted against using the facility, where is your human compassion? To those who voted in favour, thank you. A 235-bed facility that housed vulnerable seniors until a few short weeks ago, now left sitting empty in a time of dire need. A shameful waste.

Beverley Bowes

What about people who need to quarantine?

What consideration has been given, in the revoking of the policy allowing people to remain in their vehicles below deck, to the presence of people who are travelling home from another country with plans to quarantine at home?

The requirement to go to the passenger seating area seems risky for those freshly off the airplane, and for the unaware around them.

Mary Greiner

Making room for the deer

Deer are often seen wandering on Richardson Road because they can’t easily access the Garry oak meadow of the Government House property. This is a hazard.

Wouldn’t it make sense to offer the beasts a simple passage and thus avoid conflicts with vehicles on Richardson? With bicycle lanes going in soon, this may be another reason to do this.

The fence line could at least be brought back a hundred metres or so, which would give the animals grazing space and keep them away from the road.

Bennett Guinn

Appreciation for the RCMP

I phoned the RCMP to report petty vandalism in our backyard, not expecting an officer to actually show up. One did. He was friendly, thorough, helpful.

Much nonsense is flying about these days, compliments of the windy rascals who don’t stop to think. Yes, police occasionally make mistakes, as we all do. It comes from being human, an affliction we can’t help. What matters is that they are taking steps to be better – and that the great bulk of their work in any case is competent, fair, and professional.

This citizen is grateful to the RCMP and thankful to live in Canada. Been around a bit, and there’s no place better.

Brad Bird

Skeptical about Hospital At Home plan

Have we learned nothing from the disastrous move to close mental health facilities and discharge patients to the community, promising supports? We’re seeing the results — thousands of homeless suffering from mental illness and addictions.

Now Health Minister Adrian Dix is promising around-the-clock care to patients sick enough to be in hospital but discharged home.

And who is to provide this 24-hour care? Working parents with young children? Already exhausted elderly spouses? Or John Horgan’s suggestion: displaced hospitality workers?

I hope I don’t get sick.

Evelyne Forbes

Common sense in regulations

Re: “No ferry passengers in vehicles on enclosed decks as of Sept. 30; premier unhappy,” Sept 10.

Ridiculous. More people die in a week from overdoses in this province than have died from accidents on B.C. Ferries over its entire 60-year history. Let’s use a little common sense if any can be found these days.

Mike Wilkinson

Campers don’t belong in our ‘back yards’

We all dislike having our “back yards” encroached upon. Unhappily, average citizens have little they can do about it.

But government officials? Heavens, no. Back in February when pipeline protesters blocked Premier John Horgan’s driveway, they were cleared away in minutes with arrests made. While it took Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and council longer, the camping/drug disgrace was finally cleaned up in Centennial Square at City Hall.

It’s time to disallow camping in the “back yards” of all Victoria’s taxpaying citizens, i.e., all parks. Period.

Mike Spence

Out-of-town councillors are out of touch

Re: “Victoria council ignoring city’s demise,” letter, Sept. 1.

Can I offer a serious answer to the writer’s confusion over why the current crop of Victoria city councillors does not seem to care, or do much about, the demise of our lovely city on their watch?

My answer is simple: because many of them do not live in Victoria. When the provincial government changes the law and requires candidates for civic public office to live in the municipality where they will govern, things will change, and not until then.

Most people understand that homeowners take care of their own back yards when there’s a problem.

This crop of out-of-town councillors, well-meaning as many may be, has little incentive to fix the vexing problems in a city where they do not live.

Gerald Porter


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