Highlights of June 25th Council Meeting

  • 2011 Annual Report 

The municipality’s annual report was received and approved, copies of which are available through administration and/or at the front desk of Municipal Hall. The report is prepared by the Treasurer Patricia Walker and her staff and thanks to them for its completion.

  • Oak Bay Rec Centre’s Proposed Energy Study

Council approved and commented on a report from Ray Herman, Director of Parks and Recreation, on a proposed energy study to realize energy efficiencies through 2011 Phase 1 Energy Management Projects and plans for 2012.  In partnership with BC Hydro, projects at the Oak Bay Rec Centre and Henderson include:

  • replacement lighting in the arena and indoor sports field
  • new compressor in the arena refrigeration plant
  • changes to the hot water heating system

Incentive funds have been provided by BC Hydro to support these and other planned projects and Mr. Herman points out that since 1993, total energy savings have amounted $1.94M, with annual operating costs reduced by $243,000 and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  BC Hydro also funds 50% of the Energy Coordinator’s salary (Ken Olsen), whom Mr. Herman credits as being instrumental in the success of these intiatives.

  • Heritage Revitalization Agreement Proposed on Windsor

In a bid to preserve the historical significance and heritage of a Windsor Rd. property, the owner has requested approval of a Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) that enables variation of the property. Council thanked the owner for her foresight in making this request and agreed with staff to refer this proposal to the Heritage Commission for its comments/recommendations.

  • Oak Bay United Church 

A request by Oak Bay United Church to change its restrictive covenant related to the thrift shop was deferred to July 23 for a more full discussion and public input.  I believe that the Church provides valuable community services through its thrift shop and I hope that we can support their request for a re-location on the property of their thrift shop activity.

  • Celtic Fest Vancouver Island Coming to the Hall

A request by Celtic Fest Vancouver Island to hold their festival activities on municipal Hall grounds was approved by Council for July 19, 2012.  This will be a fun-filled event with an international flavour, celebrating Celtic traditions such as music and dance, with entertainers from all over the world representing their countries.

  • Road Closures for Summer Block Parties Approved

Council approved three applications for road closures to accommodate three summer block parties on Epworth, Sunset and Rosario.  I believe that these events encourage community and neighbourhood spirit and I am pleased that the municipality has a tradition of supporting them.

  • Committee Minutes Approved

Minutes from meetings of the Environment and Active Transportation Committees were approved.

Notable was a resolution crafted by the Environment Committee, approved by the Council majority and originally put forward by Councillor Pam Copley.  It states that Oak Bay joins with other BC commuities to oppose expanded oil tanker traffic on the West Coast, related to the Enbridge Northern Pipeline proposal.  

I supported this resolution from the beginning, given that we are a coastal community and that a major oil spill disaster would severely impact us.

The Active Transportation Committee recommended a Complete Streets Policy, also approved by Council.

  • Two Variances Deferred

All but two variances were approved for notification to neighbours.  The two variances were deferred to July 23 and August 20 meetings for further deliberation.

  • Two Bylaws Passed

A procedural bylaw, to permit Council members to participate in meetings electronically, was approved, subject to conditions.  Many municipalities are now enabling Council members to attend and participate in meetings remotely, via the use of skype technology and video.  This practice is restricted and is intended as a contingency and not as a regular practice.

The second bylaw related to Animal Control and the approval and implementation of a dog pilot at McNeill Bay.  The bylaw passed and allows unrestricted access, subject to evaluation, to McNeill Bay by dog owners and their dogs.  This originated with the Windsor Dog Park Group’s Dog Management Report, a detailed and balanced report and recommendations presented and adopted by Council some weeks ago.