Editorial: Time is now to join infill discussion

Residents should weigh in with ideas, concerns and questions regarding the question of infill

No topic – even the issue of deer – has generated as much interest among letter writers in recent months as the question of infill housing.

Some are keen to find new or innovative ways to accommodate families and seniors who may find it increasingly difficult to find or afford a home in Oak Bay.

Others worry about the issues infill housing can bring, such as traffic and parking concerns, changes to the tree canopy and streetscape, and pressures on our infrastructure.

On Saturday, the district hosts two public discussions on the topic, and residents are urged to share their thoughts on this critical component of the official community plan.

The guiding document calls on council to consider different forms of infill housing – focused in areas designated established neighbourhoods – such as subdivision of larger lots, duplexes, triplexes, laneway houses and garden suites.

That begins with community members taking the time to engage with the district about what level of infill housing they would like to see and what form it should take.

Saturday’s sessions at the University of Victoria are not the end of the discussion but rather a starting point that will include information boards, a presentation to the public and a question-and-answer session.

“I don’t want to be just speaking to people, I want to engage,” said Oak Bay planner Deborah Jensen.

“It’s a good way for us to start having a conversation with the community.”

Also on Saturday, the district launches an online survey at oakbay.ca for residents to provide feedback on the proposed infill housing strategy.

Two ways to get involved at the start of the discussion, with more to follow.

Share concerns, ask questions, offer suggestions.

Have your say.