Infill Housing Program Brings Diverse Housing Options to Oak Bay

July 8, 2024

Oak Bay, B.C. – The District of Oak Bay is pleased to announce the launch of a new Infill Housing Program designed to offer greater choice in the development of housing across all neighbourhoods in Oak Bay.  

With the adoption of the relevant bylaw amendments on June 24th, coach houses, triplexes, fourplexes and other infill housing options will be possible. This marks a significant milestone in Oak Bay’s multi-year effort to create more diverse housing choices in the community. The program also aligns with the Province of BC’s Small Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) legislation, bringing Oak Bay in compliance with the new legislative requirements ahead of the Province’s June 30th deadline.  

“Oak Bay Council is proud to see the implementation of the District’s Infill Housing Program. The Program has been underway since 2022 and undertook significant public engagement,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “The Infill Housing Program strives to address the requirements of the Province’s Small Scale Multi Unit Housing legislation while respecting and appreciating the unique character of Oak Bay.”  

District staff worked diligently to ensure Oak Bay met all requirements set forth by the Province’s new housing legislation before the June 30 deadline.  Amendments to the Zoning Bylaw and Parking Facilities Bylaw provide flexibility for residents, allowing infill housing with the retention of existing homes. Additionally, a development permit review is not required for Infill Housing that meets the new zoning and only requires a building permit. 

“These steps will help expedite the processing of development applications in Oak Bay to bring diverse housing options to the community,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch.   
These Zoning Bylaw amendments, while addressing the Province’s legislation, also cherish what residents in Oak Bay love. The amendments respect community character through thoughtful changes to regulations such as setbacks and height. Parking minimums have been reduced to support tree retention, while a live landscaping requirement was added to protect space for trees and gardens.  
Working within the timeframe mandated by the Province, the District strived to involve the community in the process, where possible. Three separate community sessions were hosted, alongside a town hall with Council, facilitating conversations about housing in Oak Bay. 

The Infill Housing Program Bylaw Updates are the first steps in the wider Oak Bay Housing Action Program (HAP). The District’s HAP consists of eight key projects, combining Council Priority Projects with work to meet the Provincial Housing mandates. The Program shares the same goal of increasing housing supply and creating more diverse housing choices over time. 

The District is confident that the launch of the Infill Housing program and early compliance with Bill 44 (SSMUH), along with the many initiatives yet to come in Oak Bay's ambitious Housing Action Program, clearly demonstrates Council's commitment to collaborating with senior levels of government to address the housing crisis.

Additional Resources 
•    Letter - Office of the Minister of Housing - Housing Targets Progress 
•    District Housing Action Program