Housing priority decision pushed two weeks

Council opts to wait for full representation for housing discussion

Council hit a wall early in the priorities discussions over community growth.

The strategic direction to “proactively support reasoned community growth,” with the objective of implementing the official community plan, includes undertaking regulation of secondary duties, and considering zoning for existing legal nonconforming duplexes as well as starting on data.

With councillors Michelle Kirby and Tara Ney away and the topic previously a tight vote, council opted to revisit the topic during its Feb. 27 council meeting.

While they may see more tweaking, as council discussed some priorities within the priorities, they agreed to the rest of the priorities list that heads for budget meetings this spring.

That continues the focus on being well-managed, including web page refresh, establishing a corporate Freedom and Protection of Privacy Program to include training for staff and council, implementing electronic records management, implementing e-billing for property taxes and update of corporate purchasing policy as well as implementing updated budget and payroll software.

Taking an active role in building a safe community includes working on a deer management strategy, Carnarvon Park plan strategy, developing and implementing a urban forest strategy, and reviewing bylaws to determine potential added community uses of the existing parking lot at Turkey Head.

Diverse transportation objectives include speed limits – namely developing a phased plan to introduce council-approved findings from the traffic speed study – as well as pursuing Cadboro Bay Road bike lanes.

Residents turned out to support the Heritage Conservation Area, voice concern over infill and secondary suites, and suggest Oak Bay’s aging infrastructure be added to council’s priorities.

Under the strategic direction toward “developing and maintaining infrastructure” the plan for 2017-18 includes implementing the ongoing asset management plan, the Uplands sewer separation project, and water supply redundancy (completing the Henderson water main and required studies to prepare options for water sustainability). Oak Bay also expects an asset management study with a report to council likely in March.

The HCA also remains on the list as a strategic direction to “recognize and support the Oak Bay character and heritage.”

Council is set to consider the housing strategy options for the strategic plan at its Feb. 27 council meeting. They expect more detailed cost information on strategic priority projects during budget discussions, or estimates meetings. Those are scheduled for March 15 (a joint meeting with Parks Recreation and Culture), April 12 and 19 at 5:30 p.m. at municipal hall.