Change is going to happen in Oak Bay, so plan for it and think about future generations while doing so.
That is the message attendees were given at the Oak Bay Tomorrow, Creating our Future forum held Saturday by the Community Association of Oak Bay (CAOB). About 50 people attended the afternoon discussion at Oak Bay United Church, which featured a presentation from three Victoria-area planning experts. Capital Regional District planner Sue Hallat explained the involvement of various government levels when it comes to planning. City Spaces Consulting president and planner Linda Allen explained what Official Community Plans (OCP) are, and City of Victoria senior planner Brian Sikstrom spoke about Victoria’s recent experience with drafting a new OCP. He also talked about housing and how Victoria has encouraged illegal secondary suite owners to legalize suites by offering grants to homeowners for registering them.
CAOB board member Joseph Blake said the forum’s purpose was to inform and encourage people to participate in planning Oak Bay’s future, especially now as the district is in the middle of drafting a new OCP.
“The forum was to educate people on what we can do as a community to make our community better and how we determine what’s better,” said CAOB board member Joseph Blake. “You can tell by how the people spoke where they came from on the political spectrum, from right to left. What is unifying them, is that they all care about their community.”
The forum touched on affordable housing, density and transportation and after the presentations, people broke into groups to discuss what they heard. He was happy with the turn-out but noted there was a lack of younger people in attendance.
“We’re beginning to get more young families in Oak Bay and they are usually too busy to do this kind of stuff, but it would be really great to get young people involved,” Blake said. “This will affect them the most.”
The next CAOB event is its annual general meeting on March 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. The next forum is slated for the spring.
More information about the CAOB, which publishes the Oak Bay Connector, can be found at caob.ca.