Residents have been calling for an Official Community Plan rewrite for years, at council meetings, at public meetings, at Oak Bay’s infrequent protests and in letters to the editor of Oak Bay News.
Oak Bay adopted its first OCP – a planning and development guiding policy – in 1981 and it hasn’t been revised since the mid-1990s.
The OCP Project Advisory Committee is now ready to roll up its sleeves and get to work.
This will be the first time in more than 30 years that Oak Bay residents have an opportunity to shape the community’s future in a comprehensive, thoughtful manner, said Coun. Pam Copley, chair of the committee.
“Without question, this is the most significant project undertaken in this council’s term,” mayor Nils Jensen said.
The project advisory committee will guide the OCP review process and ensure that it is innovative, inclusive and tailored to the needs of the community, Copley said.
The advisory committee also includes Coun. Cairine Green, Coun. John Herbert, Jensen and the municipality’s CAO. Six residents, Gloria Back, Patrick Frey, John Graham, Mike Lloyd, Jan Mears and Will Moore will also help guide the project.
Catherine Berris Associates Inc. will facilitate the process.
There will be many opportunities for public engagement through surveys, focus groups, community meetings and other forms of public consultation.
“Choosing Oak Bay’s future is up to (residents), so please get involved,” Copley said.
The OCP review could take up to two years to draft and will cost between $120,000 to $140,000.
Opportunities for involvement in the process will be posted on Oak Bay’s website, community bulletin boards, and in Oak Bay News. Go to oakbay.ca. for more information.