Infill Housing Strategy: Options for Oak Bay

Ensuring access to diverse housing options within the built environment is one of Council’s five strategic priorities, identified in the 2019-2022 Council Strategic Priorities Plan

Infill housing, which is typically low scale and is intended to “fit within” an existing neighbourhood without significantly altering its character and appearance, is one way to provide diverse housing options in Oak Bay.   

The purpose of the Infill Housing Strategy, which began in 2021 and will complete in 2022, is to Identify infill housing opportunities and specific housing needs for neighbourhoods. 

 The types of infill housing that will be considered are:  

  • Heritage Conversions (converts an existing heritage home into multiple units) 
  • Detached Suites (laneway houses and garden suites are an example) 
  • Subdivision of Larger Lots (larger lots can be subdivided to allow for new single detached homes) 
  • Duplexes (a building with two units that are independently owned) 
  • Triplexes (a building with three units that are independently owned)  
  • Townhouses (a building with multiple units that are independently owned) 

The Infill Housing Strategy will produce:  

  • A completed review of infill housing opportunities from the perspective of design, siting, transportation, infrastructure, heritage and energy/sustainability;  
  • Identification of the major trade-offs (e.g. parking, greenspace) and choices inherent in these infill housing opportunities; 
  • Input from residents and business owners about these major trade-offs and choices; and 
  • A final report on infill housing options for Council, which includes a draft policy, design guidelines and bylaw amendments as well as a user-friendly field guide. 

Once the Infill Housing Strategy is complete, Council can direct a second phase of the project, implementation, including bylaw amendments as well as continued input from the community.  

The Infill Housing Strategy is one strategic initiative within the overarching Housing Framework, which provides a more comprehensive and clear approach to housing in Oak Bay. 

The Infill Housing Strategy also responds to: 

  • The Official Community Plan (2014) and its goal to Encourage and support the development of diverse and inclusive housing options that accommodate residents of all ages, incomes, and family situations, including those with special needs with additional guidance contained in Section 4.3.1 Housing Objectives and 4.3.2 Housing Policies. 
  • The District of Oak Bay's 2020 Housing Needs Assessment Report, which identified key themes including decreasing affordability, changing demographics such as a loss of young families and a lack of housing options for working households, seniors who need to downsize or access housing supports, and students. The report estimated that 349 units of housing are currently needed with an additional 647 units of housing anticipated within the next 5 years. 

Community Engagement  

Through this process, the District is seeking to hear from the community on what types of infill housing Oak Bay residents want to see in the future.   

Through this process, participants will be able to: 

  • Inform where infill housing might go in Oak Bay; 
  • Inform what types of infill housing might belong in Oak Bay; and, 
  • Inform the design of future infill housing in Oak Bay. 

Please visit connect.oakbay.ca/infill for a complete list of upcoming engagement activities and events. 

Reports and Related Documents  

Council Decisions 

January 10, 2022  

2022 - 009 

MOVED and SECONDED 

THAT the Report titled Infill Housing Strategy: Options for Oak Bay - Project Update authored by Shannon Jamison, Project Manager, dated January 10, 2022 be received; 

  

AND THAT the "Infill Housing Strategy: Options for Oak Bay, Governance Review, Version 1.0" be endorsed; 

  

AND FURTHER THAT the Communications and Engagement Plan prepared by project consultant, DIALOG be endorsed. 

CARRIED 

2022 - 010 

MOVED and SECONDED 

THAT staff provide Council with a report outlining additional information regarding the add-on engagement activities including: Animation, Project Swag, Installations, Project Initiation Video and Mass Mailer option. 

CARRIED

Contact 

Building and Planning Department 
infill@oakbay.ca
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.