The Municipality of Oak Bay successfully launched its first community/public Open House as part of the first stage in the Official Community Plan review/renewal.  With the help of municipal staff, volunteers and Council members, Catherine Berris, consultant, led  community participants through a variety of feedback opportunities on topics ranging from environmental protection to transportation and business and commerce, to name just a few.  My congratulations to everyone involved in making this Open House a worthwhile experience and my thanks to all the community members who participated with us.  The room was buzzing with energy, activity and positive ideas/feedback on what is important to Oak Bay residents (new and longstanding) about their quality of life, now and for the future.  I believe that the success of this first Open House bodes well for the next session on June 4 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, Emmanuel Baptist Church gym, corner of Henderson and Cedar Hill X Rd.  Between Open Houses, there is a series of visioning workshops, all held at Municipal Hall Council Chambers, on other topics, all of which are listed on this blog in an earlier post.

Thank you to all of you who took the time out of a busy weekend to join us in “choosing our future.”  I am looking forward to seeing you again during the next number of sessions May 28 and 29 and at the second Open House in early June.  For more information, please contact Municipal Hall by phone at 250-598-3311 or visit the website and click on the OCP link for more information or to make a written submission.  Or please get in touch with me and I will be happy to answer any questions.

On a related note: 

I also attended before the afternoon Open House, the CRD Forum of Councils morning workshop on regional transportation.  The CRD is working on a regional transportation plan that will serve all thirteen municipalities.  There was a lot of good discussion and information-sharing with regional colleagues.

I also came up with an idea for older cyclists — it can be unnerving as an older cyclist to navigate busy traffic when trying to reach one of the main cycling corridors or the Galloping Goose.  I suggested identifying a series of “feeder” routes or trails, streets in the urban core that are relatively quiet and easy to ride on the way to routes with designated cycle lanes and large trails such as the Galloping Goose.  We will see where this idea goes but for those like me, who are not commuting but rather, recreational cyclists, having a safe route might encourage us to ride more often.