New Official Community Plan for District of Oak Bay

September 10, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oak Bay Council approved the adoption of the 2014 Oak Bay Official Community Plan last night formally replacing the 1997 OCP. The new OCP will serve as a key planning tool setting out municipal policies to help Oak Bay Council and staff address evolving community needs and increasingly more complex land-use matters over the long term. The intent of the 2014 OCP is to help Oak Bay Council manage modest growth (0.5%) in a realistic way while protecting the community’s unique character and core values.

The OCP renewal process has been a catalyst for broad community input over the past two years resulting in an inclusive, forwarding–looking community vision that will shape Oak Bay for years to come.

“The renewal of the OCP is one of the most important initiatives in Council’s mandate this term, and we congratulate the citizens of Oak Bay for their leadership role in helping articulate a framework that incorporates community goals, values and a vision for the future,” said Oak Bay Mayor, Nils Jensen. “The 2014 OCP reflects the priorities of residents and helps guide Council decisions in the area of neighbourhoods, streetscapes, heritage, and our natural environment. The Local Government Act requires that Official Community Plans are reviewed and updated to ensure communities are responsive to local conditions. The 2014 OCP is compliant with the new provincial requirements that stipulate we must plan for more housing options to strengthen the inclusive character of our community, and implement planning considerations for climate change including setting targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These are very positive and responsible additions that will strengthen the vibrancy and diversity of our community.”

Councillor Pam Copley, who was the Chair of the OCP Advisory Committee, agrees. “Council is very proud and pleased with how Oak Bay citizens responded, and we are especially thankful to the community volunteers who served on the Oak Bay OCP Advisory Committee. These individuals devoted hundreds of hours working with OCP planning consultants, Council representatives and staff to ensure that the voices of our residents were heard and reflected in the OCP. The committee estimates that at least 4000 residents of Oak Bay participated in developing the 2014 OCP. We are extremely grateful for the time, energy and thoughtful commitment that all these participants contributed to the future of Oak Bay. The process and the end result can truly be described as the “Community’s” official community plan.”

The next steps, as outlined in the implementation section of the OCP, include the detailed articulation of the Development Procedures Bylaw, and the necessary updating of the Zoning Bylaw. This body of work will enable the thoughtful and responsible implementation of many of the policies in the OCP. The priorities and timing of other actions will be determined following the November municipal election by District Staff and the new Council during their annual planning session which is expected to take place soon after their inaugural meeting this December.

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