October 22 Council Meeting Highlights
- The Oak Bay Beach Hotel will be receiving a refund related to its off-site servicing agreement with the Municipality. I voted with Council to approve a resolution that will see monies being returned to the owners, as per the agreement, related to unspent funds originally paid to the municipality, including accrued interest.
- A presentation by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Victoria Centre) outlined to Council its proposal to designate Cattle Point as a Star Park. Did you know that Cattle Point is considered one of the most light pollution-free urban locations in this area for star gazing? Known as a sky field, skies over Cattle Point attract local astronomers, both amateur and professional, at all times of the year. It’s a unique location and the RASC wants to preserve the Point’s night sky. Their presentation was informative (there are 13 Star Parks across Canada, mostly in rural locations) and I voted to support a motion to refer their request to the Parks and Recreation Commission for review and further consideration.
- Council moved receipt of a letter containing a request of the municipality by the Community Association of Oak Bay, to waive facility rental fees for their November AGM. I pointed out that staff is currently preparing a report (with recommendations) on a fee policy structure for use of municipal facilities by in-house commissions/committees and community organizations. Once that report is completed, Council can address this and other requests related to use of facilities.
- Castaways-Wanderers Rugby Football Club will once again be shredding Christmas trees at Windsor Park, a great community service that they have provided for the past few years. I supported a motion to permit this activity again this year, with conditions, that will take place at Currie Rd. and the Rose Garden, December 29, 30, 31, January 1, 5 and 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Donations to the Club gratefully received.
- Oak Bay Business Improvement Association is again sponsoring the Christmas Light-Up on the Avenue November 25 and the Parade of Lighted Trucks on December 1. I voted with Council to support the BIA in these events by exempting them from associated road closure costs. Thousands of people flock to Oak Bay for both events, which is good for our community, for our local businesses and for tourism.
- A letter requesting consideration of a zoning bylaw amendment to upgrade an existing duplex on St. Patrick St. generated discussion, with a Council majority supporting a referral to the next Council meeting where the applicants will provide us with more information. I voted in favour of this motion. As you know, I support the concept of duplex housing provided it is well planned and the neighbourhood is consulted and supportive. “Planned” is the key — again, without in-house qualified planning expertise in Oak Bay, these continue to be challenging decisions in isolation and naturally lead to concerns about spot zoning. Without an overall community plan, I believe that Council will continue to find major land use decisions difficult.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
- Upcoming issues: An Oak Bay Council Notice of Motion coming soon on the proposed regional plan for sewage treatment; staff is working on a social media policy in light of the new website and its social media capabilities.
- November 4 – Tree Appreciation Day, 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon, Uplands Park (under the new sign)
- November 21 – “The Uplands, Past, Present and Future,” a lecture with Dr. Larry McCann, sponsored by Oak Bay Heritage, 7:00 p.m., Windsor Park Pavilion
- November 25 – Christmas Light-Up on Oak Bay Avenue (in the Village)
- December 1 – Parade of Lighted Trucks
- December 11 – Annual Monterey Members’ Christmas Dinner, 5:30 p.m., Monterey Centre