Jude Somers’ garden on Mitchell is well-known in Oak Bay as a community snipping space. (Black Press Media file photo)

Oak Bay looks into boulevard gardens

Legalizing boulevard gardening among working group ideas

Oak Bay may be the next community in Greater Victoria to permit boulevard gardening.

The idea would follow the City of Victoria, which has laid out an entire set of guidelines that not only outline what’s permitted on a boulevard garden but also supports their creation and maintenance.

Boulevard gardening in Oak Bay is one of 14 concepts on the Oak Bay Community Climate Action Working Group’s long list that they started to whittle down on Tuesday night. The group has been tasked with making five recommendations ahead of next month’s budget approval. It means that something like boulevard gardens could be wrapped into a combined recommendation that includes a provision of education and resources for community food production, noted Coun. Andrew Appleton, chair of the working group.

“This climate action working group has a finite working period for this budget cycle,” Appleton said. “We’ve always said, really clearly, that this is not the end of this conversation.”

Oak Bay council started the budget process this week and already Appleton and council made sure there is a line item in the budget, a placeholder, where the five recommendations will go.

“This is an action-oriented group looking to present the five recommendations as specific, measurable recommendations with a time frame associated,” Appleton said. “This is something citizens want us talking about and want to see us do.”

READ MORE: Oak Bay establishes new climate working group

In the meantime, the working group is considering increased transit options, such as smaller buses, cycling and walking, including matching the City of Victoria’s free bus pass program for youths. Development policies are also on the board such as incentives to encourage multi-family development and fewer requirements for vehicle parking, a program to achieve net-zero for construction and retrofit work and a re-examination of demolition fees to address the true cost of deconstruction.

For now, Oak Bay’s bylaw states that boulevards remain free of plants, rocks or any other items that block people from parking their cars on them. To permit boulevard gardening would require a bylaw amendment and the introduction of guidelines. In Oak Bay, a boulevard is a “portion of a street other than a roadway or sidewalk,” and are municipal property and considered a public place.

In Victoria, the city ran a pilot project from 2014 to 2016 during which time feedback was recorded. The guidelines and policies were adopted in 2016 and are available online.

Appleton said the goal is to finalize the final five recommendations as soon as possible.

“This is something citizens want us talking about and want to see us do,” Appleton said. “And it will keep going. We want to continue that ball rolling.”

READ ALSO: Interest swirls in Oak Bay to ban gas-powered leaf blowers

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Climate changeoak bay council

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

Just Posted

Saanich police arrest suspect in arson spree near Camosun College Lansdowne campus

Calgary man in police custody waiting for a tele-bail hearing, constable says

Mental Health: A look at a fractured system

In this special series, Black Press Media reporters share stories from across Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Man breaks up Saanich road rage fight

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road

‘We’re running out of options’: Victoria looks to other municipalities to help shelter homeless

Victoria Curling Club, Crystal Pool ruled out as options for the 250 people remaining outside

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read