October 28 Council Meeting Highlights

TWO EVENTS TO NOTE
  • Retired Oak Bay Policeman Honoured

The Mayor noted that retired Oak Bay Sgt. Dan McLean received a Certificate of Commendation from the District of Oak Bay for his work in compiling a comprehensive history of the Oak Bay Police Force.  Congratulations to Constable McLean!

  • Further Consideration Needed on Large Lot Development

As a result of a June 2011 request by Councillor Herbert to review zoning that governs large homes on large lots in the Uplands, Council received a planning report from contracted planner Hope Burns on zoning regulations that govern large lot development.  The question arose out of concern specific to the Uplands where zoning allows 25% lot coverage for a home.  On a very large lot, this means that a very large house can be built.  I pointed out that the concern about large homes is not unique to the Uplands.

The report, although not specific to the Uplands (which falls under anomalous provincial legislation known as the Special Powers Act adopted in the 1930’s), provided Council with a range of options to consider.  Admittedly, this issue is complex and Ms. Burns recommended that whatever Council ultimately decides, a planning lens and extensive public consultation are required before any bylaw amendment(s) could either be contemplated or drafted.

Ms. Burns recommended three options for Council’s consideration and I voted with other Council members to approve Option 2:

Refer this matter to Council’s strategic planning/priorities’ session for 2014 to determine the priority and required resources for undertaking this review.

  • Heritage Referrals

I voted with Council to support two heritage applications, one recommended for approval by the Heritage Advisory Commission (2086 Byron St.) and the other (1220 Roslyn Road) referred to the Commission for its review and recommendation.

The Commission works very hard to promote heritage registration and designation and recognizes that public education is key to acceptance of and participation in heritage preservation of homes and spaces that have significant historical value to the community.

  • Official Community Plan Update

Council was pleased to receive another update on the Official Community Plan renewal survey questionnaire as of October 28, as follows:

  • 2,035 online surveys completed, representing a 29% response rate, exceeding the industry standard by nearly 10%.
  • 509 requests for a survey hard copy, of which almost half have been completed and returned.
  • next Official Community Plan Advisory Committee (OPAC) meeting is November 7th and OPAC will meet twice a month between now and year’s end.

As one of three Council members who sits on OPAC, I am encouraged by the tremendous response from our community to the survey.  It is projected that Oak Bay may well end up with a response rate in the low thirtieth percentile, a result that would exceed all expectations.

I want to thank and congratulate the community for taking the time to engage in this important process and I look forward to learning about what the community has to say about our future once the survey process closes and the results are shared.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!  Have fun and stay safe.

Next Regular Meeting November 12, 2013, 7:30, Committee of the Whole, in Council Chambers.