Usually when a public hearing concludes and a bylaw is passed, or passed over, the work is done.
Not so with the official community plan; residents still need to be diligent.
We expect council meetings will continue to see passionate participation as Oak Bay endeavours to create some of the tools referred to in the OCP that passed Tuesday night.
The purpose of an OCP, as defined by the local government act, is a statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management, within the area covered by the plan, respecting the purposes of local government. An OCP should work towards the purpose and goals referred to in its regional growth strategy.
Residents still have a say in what goes on in this community. Every future development comes before council, changes in zoning, creation of planning documents, will all be discussed in chambers.
Redevelopment of Oak Bay Lodge is a a good example of something residents of this community didn’t want. It didn’t happen. While a lot of time and resources went into the deliberations, in the end the redevelopment plan didn’t go through because the public was opposed. While it remains to be seen what will happen with that location, there will again be time for residents to have their say, should redevelopment be suggested again.
Residents will have their biggest voice on Nov. 15 during the municipal election.
Don’t be afraid to ask your candidates specific questions. Ask them their views on zoning, bylaws and development. Ask them their specific vision for the community and its potential growth.
Of an estimated 14,337 eligible voters there were 6,029 ballots cast in the 2011 election. Maybe, with an OCP review that revved up the community and stirred the passions of residents, we can increase that voter turnout.