Update on the Official Community Plan and Other Community News

Another couple of busy weeks have flown by and an opportunity to sit down quietly and write this blog is long overdue.  The last week of May was whirlwind as you know by my last posting and the first week of June has been similar.

The turn-out for the volunteer recognition events was rewarding and it is always such a pleasure to attend and recognize all the wonderful volunteers who live and work in Oak Bay.  Our volunteers put in many hours, with individuals, groups and on projects, to enhance the quality of life for so many of us who need or enjoy volunteer support, services, programs and opportunities to work with and serve others.

  • Official Community Plan Community Open House

Held on May 31st at the OB Rec Centre, the OCP Open House welcomed at least 150 Oak Bay residents who attended and participated with us to review the latest OCP draft.  Oak Bay Council members, Advisory Committee volunteers, municipal staff and consultant Catherine Berris worked together to present the information and answer questions about everything from land use to environmental protection and back again.  The majority of those who attended seemed positive about the latest draft but, of course, others were concerned about words and terminology related to “density,” “infill” and “growth.”  All feedback from the Open House will form part of a presentation by the consultant to Council on Monday night, June 9th in Chambers.  If Council decides at this time to move the document forward, another draft will be completed and staff will be asked to draft bylaws for first and second reading, for the June 23rd Council meeting.  The results of this meeting will determine the next step, either to move the Official Community Plan to a public hearing in September or not.

Having worked hard the past 18 months on this project, meeting on average every two weeks with the volunteer advisory committee and working together with staff and the consultant, I personally hope that the document will achieve first and second reading and move on to the public hearing in September.  Over 3,000 residents to date have been involved in a variety of consultation opportunities, culminating in the Open House a week ago.  We have listened to all feedback, both positive and negative, so the final draft presented on June 23rd should reflect that input.  Here’s hoping.

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  • Oak Bay Tea Party

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Another successful and fun-filled event kicked off with the Tea Party parade and opening ceremony at Willows Beach.  I joined with Councillors John Herbert, Tara Ney, Pam Copley and Michelle Kirby to judge the floats and the bands again this year, a necessary evil.  I would rather just enjoy the activities without the angst of having to choose one float over another.

The final outcome in my category:  I chose Reflections Hair Studio as first for their lovely swan, an entry that came second the past two years.  It was their turn this year to place first!

All of us also departed from tradition and collectively decided that the best marching band this year was from Reynolds School.  Hoping you enjoyed another Oak Bay Tea Party celebration!