Contrary to what I would term “alarmist” positions taken on this matter, I respectfully suggest Councillor Tara Ney’s resolution is in keeping with the objectives, as contained in our municipality’s current OCP.
Those who comment the resolution somehow bypasses meaningful “public engagement” seem to have missed that statement in the “therefore be it resolved” section of the resolution. It states, “…with the stated goals of creating a public engagement plan …”
While I respect those who take a contrary view to development, the secondary suite resolution at hand does not presuppose any end result. There has been much debate and correspondence written, expressing concern over a lack of public consultation. This resolution provides the assurance, that such consultation will take place as a fundamental part of the process. Without direction to municipal staff to initiate such reviews, and prepare policy and/or draft by-laws, etc., our municipality will never move forward with this or any other stated objective within the OCP.
To be clear, debate about the introduction of densification, in some manner, within Oak Bay is over. It will occur. The issue in front of us collectively is, what mechanisms do we have available to us, to ensure the planned objectives of the OCP are reached in a responsible way?
Passing this resolution will provide the municipality and its residents exactly what it needs to initiate real, meaningful discussion. Information and documentation that a resident can read, digest and debate, rather than listening to never ending arguments expressing one ideological position over another.
Ney’s resolution correctly provides the municipality with its “marching orders”; ones that provide needed direction re: the steps required to move forward on this critical issue; namely secondary suite implementation within the context of responsible housing densification options in the municipality of Oak Bay.