Liquor approved for summer night markets

Beer, wine and spirits could be on tap at night markets in Oak Bay over the summer

Beer, wine and spirits could be on tap at night markets. The Oak Bay BIA was approached by Sea Cider of Central Saanich to offer a booth at the night markets. With provincial regulations opening up the opportunity for samples and sales, BIA approached council for approval to offer them at the summer season sales.

Council gave it the unanimous go-ahead during its May 25 meeting.

The markets mean closing Oak Bay Avenue to vehicle traffic from Wilmot Place to Monterey Avenue from 3 to 9 p.m. on market nights. The BIA-organized markets operate between 4 and 8 p.m.



APC nears completion

With a substitution of the term “land-use” for “development”, the finely tuned bylaw to create an advisory planning commission earned its first three readings from council May 25. The bylaw would create a panel, selected by council, of seven to nine advisors. They would strive to fill the board with members with backgrounds in environment, active transportation, heritage, land use, along with a member of the business community, a member under age 35 and three members of the community at large.



Municipality divvies up lawn

The Oak Bay BIA and Oak Bay Rotary will share lawn space in front of municipal hall, with each controlling two nights of the four markets this summer. The lawn space in front of municipal hall is in addition to the Avenue space where the Business Improvement Association hosts its popular night market.

Rotary will have the space the first two markets, June 10 and July 8, while the BIA runs the space Aug. 12 and Sept. 9.



Some fees waived for club

The Oak Bay Figure Skating Club sought coverage of the ice fees associated with practice and showtimes of the ice show it offers every other year. While they asked for coverage of about $5,000 worth of ice time, council agreed to $1,500 after a fair amount of discussion.

“I don’t have an issue with us covering the cost of the event,” said Coun. Kevin Murdoch, who attended this year’s show with his children. He called the practice ice time “nebulous”.

Coun. Michelle Kirby countered with the argument past offerings have been significantly higher, last year the district covered about half the presented ice time costs.

“It all goes back into the budget in ice fees,” Kirby said.

Coun. Hazel Braithwaite noted that Bays United offers indoor soccer tournaments each winter but doesn’t seek reimbursement for turf rental.

“It’s a slippery slope if we start saying we’re going to the pay the full amount,” she said.

The funds would come out of those remaining after grants-in-aid allocated during budget discussions.

“I think we should be careful about the unallocated reserve,” said Coun. Tom Croft. “We don’t know what else is coming forward.”

Hold the permits

Coun. Eric Zhelka plans to approach council with a motion to halt issuing building and development permits pending the installation of recommendations made by the floor area review committee last year.


His notice of motion suggests council withhold issuing any permits that contravene the “previously approved recommendations of the 2014 floor area review committee for a period of up to 90 days or until a new bylaw is adopted” that implements those recommendations. It also suggests council ask the director of building and planning to include the floor area ratio calculation, current and requested, for any variance to come before council.