Planning committee off to a tentative start

Oak Bay takes another look at planning committee structure before its formation

Oak Bay’s planning committee is on pause after a surge of concern from the community Monday night.

“We are trying to do the right thing for our community, we just need to tweak it,” said Coun. Hazel Braithwaite during the meeting.

The terms of reference for a proposed advisory planning committee were on the agenda for Oak Bay’s committee of the whole to discuss. Concerns and questions primarily surrounded the makeup of the group and whether it would be a committee or commission.

“After many concerns were raised with the concept of a committee, we decided to ask staff to report back on the two options, as we really hadn’t delved into the details of the two structures in the prior meeting,” said Coun. Michelle Kirby, who was acting mayor in place of vacationing Nils Jensen. “The committee option was recommended initially, but we’re going to look at a commission as well, just to be sure we’re starting off on the right foot.”

During the meeting, Coun. Eric Zhelka said in reviewing February staff reports where council consented to a committee structure for the advisory group, he had second thoughts. It was a sentiment voiced by residents who prefer to see a commission structure.

A second concern was the makeup of the proposed 13-member committee. It would include: a council member along with members with backgrounds in environment, transportation, heritage, development, a member of the education community, one under 25 years of age, a member of the business community, a member of the Victoria Real Estate Board and four members of the community at large.

“I like the composition that’s suggested,” said Coun. Tara Ney. “This isn’t about pushing an agenda, this is about having perspective.”

The makeup would be in addition to having experts come in, for example, calling on Island Health when necessary. The resident versus non-resident issue was also discussed, with the current terms allowing for non-residents to sit on the board.

Ney made a motion to create a report with information on the commission versus committee structure.

“Given all the concerns that were raised we decided to look at the options and see if a commission would suit Oak Bay better,” Kirby said.

Other information council, sitting as committee, sought from staff surrounds the potential of a working group in conjunction with a planning group.

“There’s a lot of work there, so we’re asking staff to see if in addition to this group we need a working group to get straight to that work and help support staff,” Kirby said after the meeting.

The advisory group is the next evolution of the official community plan, active transportation and environmental advisory committees, Kirby said.

“They will be advising council on planning issues, redevelopment and working with our staff as community representatives to ensure that the values expressed in the OCP, such as inclusion, stewardship of our environment, marine areas and parks, are expressed in how the community adapts to change.”

Other terms of reference included two-year overlapping terms to offer continuity by providing a mix of experience on planning issues.

“We’d all like to see this kind of work done quickly, to reduce the number of variances required to come to council,” Kirby said. “It’s unfair to the community to expect them to comply with a bylaw that is no longer consistent with our new OCP. It’s in all our best interests to get on with correcting those outdated bylaws.”


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

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read