Community engagement is key

Extensive and comprehensive community consultation was at the heart of our official community plan

Re: New Official Community Plan for District of Oak Bay

Oak Bay’s 2014 Official Community Plan, approved unanimously by council on Sept. 9, is truly the “community’s” plan.

Extensive and comprehensive community consultation was at the heart of our official community plan renewal process, with thousands of passionate citizens providing thoughtful and insightful input that addressed concerns as well as opportunities.

The public process and the breadth of the community engagement resulted in an inclusive, forwarding-looking guidance document that will shape Oak Bay for years to come.

Change is happening in Oak Bay as it does in every community – it’s a part of life. We need to anticipate, prepare and plan for the many changes that will come.

The new official community plan is an important tool that articulates a community vision, policies and a planning framework to enable the municipality to respond to current and future challenges that residents are telling us are important. It safeguards what we love and value about Oak Bay while ensuring that we are well prepared for the future.

Although it cannot be all things to all people, the goal of the official community plan has been to strike a balance to guide decision making as we move forward.  As a living document, it will evolve as required over time.

This monumental task could not have been accomplished if it were not for the hundreds of volunteer hours on the part of the dedicated community members who served on the official community plan advisory committee and on the review planning committee.

Equally important to the process was the hard work of the district staff and the planning consultants who compiled the valuable community input to deliver a comprehensive and functional planning tool, the 2014 official community plan.

The next phase – implementation – will include ongoing public consultation and engagement – tasks that will be undertaken following the November municipal election by a new council.

Thank you Oak Bay.

Pam Copley, Oak Bay Council and chair, OCP

Advisory Committee