Oak Bay has a tenant in mind as it pursues the next lease for the Turkey Head lands, adjacent water lots, marina and commercial buildings.
After a review of public input and scoring of technical, community amenity and financial proposals, council selected Proponent 1 to pursue a lease of the land that juts out alongside the waters of Oak Bay.
The current lease ends in December 2022 and a new lease is expected to run from 2023 to 2052.
The district issued a request for proposals last year and in early 2021, two proposals labelled Proponent A and Proponent 1 were put to the public for review. The district received more than 600 responses as well as input through emails and at a special committee meeting.
The input firmed up that Turkey Head has significance beyond the marina, retail, and restaurant operations, Mayor Kevin Murdoch said in a news release.
“Among hundreds of good ideas heard through the public engagement process, some consistent themes emerged, including the importance of ocean environmental protection, seeking opportunities for First Nations reconciliation, access to beaches, supporting small craft watersports, all-ages walkability, opportunities for gatherings, and of course ensuring the district sees revenue proportional to the high value of the property,” the mayor said.
“As we enter the next phase of negotiations, these values will be top of mind and I can’t thank the community enough for taking the time to share their experiences, expertise, and ideas to help guide and inform this process.”
The proposal includes a revised parking lot for more efficient layout and reduced impermeable surface area; an adaptable parking and event space to allow for festivals, car shows, film crews and other seasonal celebrations; and an art walk to draw locals and tourists while creating opportunity for partnerships with local Indigenous people, education institutions and other community groups.
An expanded walkway, extended outdoor seating, better beach access and a bandshell in partnership with the Rotary Club of Oak Bay also feature in the proposal.
Other reflections of Indigenous culture include a welcome circle, Songhees house post, First Nations interpretative signage and Spewhung Park (the Lekwungen word for ‘fog’).
Oak Bay expects to start lease negotiations shortly, which is part of a formal process limiting the ability to provide for ongoing public input. Find the full proposal and follow information as it’s released at oakbay.ca/marina-lease-negotiations.
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