Michael Prince and Karen Wallace-Prince propose Oak Bay designate their segment of Oak Bay (their home is behind on the right) as a Heritage Conservation Area

Michael Prince and Karen Wallace-Prince propose Oak Bay designate their segment of Oak Bay (their home is behind on the right) as a Heritage Conservation Area

Heritage conservation bid moves to budget discussions

Cost to develop HCA could range from $50,000
to $75,000

Oak Bay starts 2017 perusing its priorities and a proposed heritage conservation area for its oldest neighbourhood is among the ranks.

Residents from Prospect Place, York Place, Beach Drive, San Carlos and a small segment of Oak Bay Avenue showed force as they filled the gallery at municipal hall for the Dec. 5 committee meeting where resident Michael Prince pitched the HCA.

Prince asked council to retain a heritage consultant and have staff move ahead on an HCA. They agreed to put the project over for consideration in the priorities plan.

The area is home to 11 of the 28 heritage designated houses in Oak Bay and residents hope to protect elements ranging from history and architecture to landscape and viewscapes. Prince outlined the plan to create an HCA in the neighbourhood. (See the proposal at oakbay.ca on the agenda for Dec. 5).

“The time is now – we are at a pivotal point,” Prince said. “We think we all benefit, the entire community.”

Municipal and regional governments can create a Heritage Conservation Area that establishes regulatory guidelines and may list individual properties for protection. They protect ambience, landscaping and small historical touches. Council, sitting as committee Monday night, agreed to consider it during their priorities deliberations early in the new year.

Coun. Kevin Murdoch was careful to clarify this was simply moving the process along, not setting any HCA guidelines.

“Of course the devil’s in the details in what parameters… there’s some good standards out there but we will do a whole process that takes the neighbourhood into account,” Murdoch said.

He noted the proposed HCA supports official community plan priorities, has support from the community Heritage Foundation and Heritage Commission and has strong resident support.

 

“It seems pretty simple,” Murdoch said. “We have no option but to deal with this application. The next step of going to priorities is logical.”

 

“This is feeling a bit fait accompli but of course we have process to move forward,” agreed Coun. Eric Zhelka.

The proposal already has strong support, about 80 per cent of area residents.

“It can’t happen with only one or two people. It can only happen with the kind of support you’ve been able to galvanize with your neighbours,” said Coun. Tara Ney.

She asked why others were not professing support.

Others are undecided, unable to support it publicly or property owners they haven’t been in contact with.

Municipal staff anticipate cost for the process could range from $50,000 to $75,000 and would be a new item added to the financial plan.

Ney sees that as another investment in heritage, which they fund through their foundation and commission. She says this kind of a project could increase community awareness and set a precedent.

“This project, it seems to me, will accelerate the heritage agenda,” Ney said. “It’s a healthy chunk of change, but it’s money well spent. … It’s possible there will be other projects in the future. As a whole it will serve to spotlight what heritage means in the community.”

Council expects to whittle down its priorities list during the first meeting of 2017 on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Colin Springford doing what he loved best, tending to his garden. (Linda Matteson photo)
Longtime farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

Saanich has awarded the tender for a youth bike skills park planned for the lot next to the George Tripp BC Hydro Substation off Lochside Drive to Bike Track Ltd. for $242,000. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich selects company to build youth bike skills track at Tripp Station Park

More than $240,000 allotted for Bike Track Ltd. to design bike park

An architectural rendering provides a look at PC Urban’s proposal for three buildings on the former Galaxy Motors property at 1764 Island Hwy. in Colwood. (Rendering courtesy of PC Urban)
Commercial/industrial development planned for former Galaxy Motors site

Colwood proposal goes to public hearing Jan. 25

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden arrives at U.S. Capitol for inauguration

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

Most Read