What I stand for:
• Renewing Infrastructure
• More housing options
• A well-run vibrant and livable community for seniors, families and business owners
• Residents having a strong say in the redevelopment of the Oak Bay Lodge site
• High-quality public safety services
I’m hearing many people concerned about our bumpy roads and uneven sidewalks. Seniors in particular have passed along worries about trip hazards. Our underground infrastructure needs repairing too. I also hear we need affordable rental housing.
What we’ve done:
• Invested millions upgrading infrastructure.
• Increased spending on roads, sidewalks and bike lanes.
• Started a $20 million project to stop sewage spilling onto our beaches.
What I support:
• Implementing a 20-year plan for water and sewer infrastructure renewal
• Increasing funding for safer, wider sidewalks and better roads.
• Using federal Gas Tax grants (approx. $800,000/year) to make infrastructure upgrades and avoid spikes in taxes.
Redeveloping the Oak Bay Lodge site
• Conducting a proactive community-based public engagement process for Oak Bay residents to have their say on the best use for the Lodge site.
• Exploring the idea of a mixed-use facility that would include a seniors’ daycare and health professional services. (read more in Appendix A below)
We all want a livable, vibrant and well-governed community. I hear many say we need more housing options to attract young people and to keep seniors in our community. People also want quality public services while maintaining reasonable taxation.
What we’ve done:
• Put aside reserves of over $30 million mostly for infrastructure such as the Uplands sewer project.
• Pursued and received over $4.5 million in infrastructure grants from the federal and provincial governments in 2017-18 for projects such as water and sewer pipes, energy efficiency and bike lanes.
• Approved the first market rental building in over 30 years.
• Created an ArtsAlive program that is the envy of the region.
What I support:
Maintaining sound financial planning and controls
• Active pursuit of federal and provincial grants.
• Avoiding sharp tax increase by funding large longer-term infrastructure projects through borrowing and grants.
• Reasonable property taxes.
• Improved effectiveness and efficiency at municipal hall.
• Working with regional partners (read more in Appendix B below).
Maintaining a livable, walkable and vibrant community
• Funding for the arts such as the very successful ArtsAlive program and the Arts and Culture Fortnight.
• Extending bike lanes – although we might not all agree, it is the future and reasonable compromises are possible.
• Wider, safer sidewalks to accommodate walkers and strollers, especially in Oak Bay Village.
Protecting Established Neighbourhoods
• Confining new multi-family developments to commercial nodes and main thoroughfares.
• Preventing over-development that impacts established neighbourhoods.
• Encouraging smaller seniors-oriented homes.
Creating Housing Options
• Regulating secondary suites. (read more in Appendix C below)
• More affordable rental housing by partnering with BC Housing and local agencies. This would include providing publicly owned land.
• Exploring ways to permit duplexes, triplexes and conversions.
• An Oak Bay Village that encourages mixed commercial/residential development.
• Completing the groundbreaking Heritage Conservation Area that will create a model for heritage protection.
• Pursuing opportunities for voluntary heritage designations.
• Programs that support homeowners to take advantage of Heritage Revitalization Agreements for projects such as conversions.
• Creating a Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Youth Issues.
• Continue fun educational opportunities for school and community youth groups at municipal hall and schools.
A Rigorous Approach to Protecting our Urban Forest
• Tougher tree protections bylaws that will require the planting of trees lost to development.
More daycare spaces
• Create opportunities for more public and private childcare.
• Take advantage of the recently announced provincial funding program that provides up to $1 million for public facilities.
• Complete zoning changes that encourage private childcare.
People I speak with really appreciate having community-based police and fire departments – it gives them a sense of personal security. At the same time, I hear they want regional cooperation in cases of major crimes and disasters.
What we’ve done:
• Created a police strategic plan that emphasizes traffic safety.
• Worked with adjoining fire departments in cases of major fires and mishaps.
• Joined a single regional police dispatch service.
• Implemented a deer reduction program.
What I support:
Greater regional integration of public safety services
• Stable regional police units for specialized services such as forensics, canine and emergency response.
• A single regional fire dispatch service.
• A coordinated regional emergency preparedness program that includes a single early warning system.
Maintaining an effective deer reduction program
• A regional wildlife management plan to deal with the burgeoning population of raccoons, invasive American Bullfrogs, geese and deer.
• An Oak Bay-Victoria-Saanich joint deer reduction strategy.
• Completing the ongoing deer reduction birth control program.
• A rigorous assessment of the effectiveness of birth control to reduce the deer population.
APPENDIX A – READ MORE ABOUT PROVIDING FOR SENIORS
In 2015 Oak Bay Council turned down an application by the Vancouver Island Health Authority to build a six-story 320-bed regional hospital on the current site of the Oak Bay Lodge. It was felt the hospital was unsuitable for the location and would have a disproportionate impact on the neighbours and there was no guarantee that the facility would be for any Oak Bay resident needing the service, given the regional nature of the facility.
Subsequently, the renamed Island Health (IH) partnered with the Capital Regional Health District (CRHD) and is building a 320-bed hospital on the site of the old Blanshard School at Hillside and Blanshard called The Summit.
The Summit is expected to be completed in late 2019. At that point, IH will transfer residents of the Oak Bay Lodge to The Summit, most likely in early 2020.
Once the transfer is complete the Lodge property will be legally transferred to the CRHD pursuant to an agreement that the site be used for the public good.
The Lodge will be torn down as it is not suitable for being re-purposed.
It is the intention of the CRHD to conduct a public engagement process before it decides on the future of the property. The CRHD’s public engagement is expected to begin in mid-2019.
I will propose that Council conduct its own Oak Bay-based public process in advance of any decision by the CRHD on the future of the site. An Oak Bay-based process should commence and be completed before the CRHD process, expected to begin in mid-2019. The aim of an earlier Oak Bay-based process will be to develop desirable options for the property that best serve seniors in Oak Bay and the surrounding communities.
APPENDIX B – READ MORE ABOUT WORKING WITH REGIONAL PARTNERS
In April 2013 all 13 municipalities along with the CRD, CREST and GVPL signed on to a formal agreement called the “Good Neighbour Protocol”. The agreement has multiple aims including:
• Promoting good neighbour practices such as sharing services to create efficiencies.
• Promoting partnerships opportunities which contribute to better service delivery.
• Implementing projects and programs collaboratively.
• Promoting best management practices and a shared service delivery dialogue through regular meeting and dialogue.
As of January 2016, the Good Neighbour Protocol Cooperative Efforts Inventory listed 203 distinct joint ventures and opportunities that have been used by the regions local governments. In some cases, all of the communities join in a venture, in other situations only an interested few.
Here are some examples of cooperative efforts and agreements that Oak Bay participates in:
• Greater Victoria Public Library – Oak Bay and 9 area municipalities
• GIS/Natural Areas Atlas – all local governments
• Refuse disposal and recycling – all local governments
• Regional Trunk Sewer – Oak Bay and eight other municipalities
• Regional Water Supply – all local governments
• Cross-Border Agreements – Oak Bay and three other municipalities
• Pressure test and Chlorination of new water mains – Oak Bay, Victoria, Saanich and the CRD
• Core Fire Mutual Aid – Oak Bay and three core municipalities
• Confined Space Agreement – Oak Bay, Saanich and UVic
• Health Facilities Planning – all local governments
• Recreation Integration – Oak Bay, 3 core municipalities Panorama and Westshore
• Royal Theatre – Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria
• Specialized Police Services (such as Identification and K9) – Oak Bay and Saanich
• 911 – all local governments
APPENDIX C – READ MORE ABOUT SECONDARY SUITES
Council began the process of regulating secondary suites in 2017 by including monies in the budget for a public engagement process.
I’ve been listening carefully to the issues that need to be explored during the public engagement process that will be conducted in advance of regulation. These issues include:
• Parking: Should extra off-street parking be required and if so how many spaces?
• Owner Occupancy: Should the property owner be required to live on site?
• Designated zones: Should suites be allowed in all residential zones or just in some?
• Lot/Frontage size: Should there be a minimum lot size or frontage required to have a suite?
• Suite size: Should there be a maximum or minimum size required for the suite?
• Occupant limits: Should there be a limit on the number of occupants of a suite?
• Registration: Should registration and licence fees be required? If so, how much should the fees be?