- Oak Bay Tourism Committee
The Committee submitted their 2011 Year End Report and 2012 Business and Budget Plan, both of which were received and approved by Council. The latter item will be forwarded to Budget Estimates for final approval, with budget meetings starting tomorrow night in Council Chambers at 7:00 PM.
Enhancing and attracting tourism in Oak Bay is a key Committee goal and with membership growing, the Committee will explore new ways of building more tourism in Oak Bay. Attending to demonstrate their support for tourism and the Committee, were the owners of the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel, scheduled to open sometime this Spring.
- Heritage Commission Budget
The new Heritage Commission, Chaired by volunteer Pat Wilson, submitted to Council their budget proposal for 2012. Council approved to forward the budget to Budget Estimates, noting that the Commission is requesting an increase.
As Council Liaison to Heritage and Culture, I advised that the increase reflects this year’s priority to complete a Heritage Strategic Plan that will require a consultant to assist the Commission with this work. The Plan is a must for the future, given that Oak Bay Heritage issues have been at the forefront in that past few months. The Commission has already formed a sub-committee to begin pre-planning and I am impressed with the expertise and commitment of these volunteers to move forward with the Strategic Plan.
- Community Initiatives Committee
Minutes were reviewed and approved after Councillor John Herbert updated activities to date and for the future, including: oceanside information for Radcliffe Lane; municipal gifts; Canada Celebration grant; Canada’s celebration of its 150 Year anniversary in 2017; and, the AVICC Convention (Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities) that could bring hundreds of local government delegates to Oak Bay for three days. Held in April each year, a proposal is being developed for Oak Bay to host this event and if approved, what a boon for tourism and local businesses!
- Official Community Plan (OCP) Renewal
The long-awaited final report of the OCP Review Working Group was presented to Council by Councillor Pam Copley, Group Chair. Meeting every Saturday morning since mid-January 2012, residents, staff and three Councillors (Copley, Green and Ney) worked together to research and prepare a comprehensive set of recommendations about how to undertake this major project.
Council endorsed the report and asked staff to prepare materials for a Project Advisory Committee (will be composed of resident/staff/Council members) and an Expression of Interest, next steps in the process after budget approval. Costing for the renewal, which is estimated to take about 18 months, will be deliberated during Budget Estimates. This is a major project long overdue, since Oak Bay’s existing OCP is 31 years old. The world has definitely changed since then!
- Citizen Volunteer appointments have been confirmed for Active Transportation Advisory Committee (new this year), Advisory Design Panel, Allan Cassidy Recognition of Renovation & Building Achievement Awards Panel, Board of Variance, Community Initiatives Committee, Environmental Advisory Committee (new this year), Heritage Commission (new last fall), Heritage Foundation, Oak Bay Tourism Committee, Parks and Recreation Commission, Police Board, Wall of Fame Committee and the two short-term working groups on the OCP Review and Community Engagement. Many thanks to all the volunteers who volunteer their skills, time and expertise on behalf of Oak Bay.
- Two local organizations are celebrating big birthdays this year and in 2013 — The Oak Bay Tea Party is 50 in June and Castaways Rugby Club is 50 next year.