July 16th Committee of the Whole Meeting Highlights

  • Improvements to Municipal Website and Telephone Systems Underway Shortly

Staff recommended to Council to award a contract for the supply and installation of a major upgrade to the Municipality’s telephone service.  I understand from staff that the upgrade and improvements to the system will result in better efficiency and cost savings in service delivery and staff time.  I voted to approve the recommendation, pointing out that upgrading the telephone system will be compatible with forthcoming upgrades to the District’s website.

Speaking of which…  I supported the results and recommendation of the Website Committee, to award the redesign of the Municipal website to Victoria-based UpanUp Studios.  Twenty-four proponents applied on the RFP and screening and selection were completed by Committee members consisting of Councillors Kirby and Murdoch and staff.  Website development will begin shortly and I have high hopes for a new and much improved online Municipal site that meets the current and future technology needs of our community, its residents and the Municipality.

  • Need for Wider Sidewalks Under Consideration

When an Oak Bay resident redesigned and installed a new inter-locking brick sidewalk and driveway, it appears that inadvertently, the contractor exceeded the sidewalk width allowed by Oak Bay’s driveway access bylaw.  But perhaps all is not lost.  Given that Oak Bay has struck an active Transportation Committee that recommends a Complete Streets’ Policy, and the new width apparently provides easy wheelchair access for the resident’s elderly parent, re-examining Oak Bay’s bylaw to accommodate aging demographics and alternate forms of mobility on our sidewalks will be explored. I therefore supported a motion to refer this matter to our Engineering Department for a staff report.

  • Development/Variance Permits Referred to Council

I supported motions to refer to Council four applications (three for Uplands’ residences) for either development or variance plans for single family dwellings.  In the Uplands, the Design Panel has been concerned about the loss of smaller homes, a common theme that has emerged this year in other parts of Oak Bay.  Like many residents, I am awaiting completion early this fall of the staff report that addresses lot coverage and floor area ratio issues.