Highlights of August 20 Council Meeting, the Last of Summer


  • Allan Cassidy Awards:

Two homes and two builders received the Allan Cassidy Recognition of Renovation and Building Achievement Award, presented by Mayor and Council.  Brian Morris and Mike Knight were presented the award for individual homes they built on the Esplanade and on Beach Drive. Congratulations!

  • Mayor’s Remarks:

The Mayor acknowledged the passing of Heritage Commission Vice-Chair and community volunteer Gwen Ewan, who will be greatly missed by the Oak Bay Heritage community.  I also expressed condolences on behalf of the Heritage Commission, Foundation and Archives.

The Mayor announced that a part-time Archivist has been contracted to assist with Oak Bay’s Arhcives.  Jean Sparks, long time resident, volunteer and archives’ expert, has worked quietly, with the help of a small corps of volunteers, in the basement of municipal hall for many years, sorting, organizing and recording Oak Bay’s history.  Now she will have the much needed help of a professional archivist who also works part-time with Saanich Municipality and as a volunteer archivist with Government House. Thanks Jean for your dedication and tenacity to protect, preserve and educate us about Oak Bay’s history and make it readily available.

  • Heritage House Still Debated:

One of the only heritage-designated houses and property in Oak Bay on Hampshire Rd. continues as the subject of debate between the owner and municipality.  After lengthy discussion by Council members, the owner was asked to submit new plans for the site that will preserve the heritage garage.  

As Heritage Liasion, I have consistently supported the Heritage Commission in their effort to preserve the integrity of this house, garage and property.  The owner’s current plan would result in demolition of the existing heritage garage to enable off-street parking which he argues will provide traffic safety for his family.  I believe that the municipality and the Commission have worked together with the owner to find a reasonable compromise that meets all concerns.  Needless to say, this has been a challenge and I hope that the owner can submit a plan that I can support.

  • Covenant with Oak Bay United Church Moves Forward:

I voted to defer this matter to the next Committee of the Whole meeting to facilitate additioinal neighbourhood input but the deferral motion was defeated so the covenant with Oak Bay United Church was finalized.  While I wholeheartedly support the work of the Church and its effort to provide a worthwhile community resource in the Thrift Shop operation, I also appreicate that the traffic generated from the Shop and related activity on the site impacts the adjacent neighbourhood.  I hope that the Church will work with its neighbours to address and mitigate those impacts.

  • Owner Requests Heritage Designation:

A homeowner has requested heritage designation of her property on Roslyn Road and I supported a decision to refer this item to the Heritage Commission for review.

  • Public Hearing on Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA):

A Heritage Revitalization Agreement application required a public hearing, at which time neighbours and residents were given the opportunity to speak about the application.  This property located at 1226 Roslyn Road has a history of heritage activity, with the owner working on this revitalization plan for some years.  There appears to be neighbourhood support with the exception of one neighbour who believes that subdivision will irrevocably destroy the ambiance of his property and the street.  

  • Heritage Referral to the Commission:

Requests for heritage alterations to a Runnymead home required granting a temporary protection order which I supported, with a referral to the Heritage Commission.  Plans to renovate the property were shared with Council and if approved, the home will be greatly enhanced.  The Heritage Commission will review the plans at their next meeting in mid-September

  • Active Transportation Committee’s “Accessibility Paper” Endorsed in Principle by Council:

I voted with Council to endorse the paper on Accessibillity produced by the Active Transportation Committee.  The author, a Committee member, has produced a timely document that encourages Oak Bay to become more accessible to people with disabilities traversing streets and sidewalks. The initial focus will be improvements to Oak Bay Ave. that staff indicate they have already begun.



(Reminder:  All Municipal Committee and Commission meetings are always open to the public so please feel free to attend; dates and time are avaiable on the municipal website).

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting:  SEPTEMBER 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM