Esquimalt’s new OCP includes plans for development at Head Street and Esquimalt Road. News files

Esquimalt’s new OCP includes plans for development at Head Street and Esquimalt Road. News files

New Official Community Plan to get first reading in Esquimalt

Several months delayed, draft bylaw addresses housing, growth, land use

At a special meeting of council tomorrow, the Township of Esquimalt will hear the first reading of its draft Official Community Plan bylaw, now several months delayed.

Originally scheduled to be released last fall, Esquimalt calls its OCP a framework to guide future growth in a sustainable way. The last Official Community Plan was adopted in 2007.

“An Official Community Plan is not a static document,” the bylaw reads. “It should respond to changes in the community, including its values and social, economic and environmental conditions and changing regulations and authorities.”

Of note in the draft bylaw are the anticipated housing needs for the community of 17,655 residents.

Census numbers show the number of single detached homes fell 1.7 per cent, while apartments in buildings with five or more stories increased by 23.1 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

“This data … clearly shows a trend toward multi family dwellings,” the bylaw reads.

Currently, 664 housing units have had their zoning approved; a number adequate to accommodate a growing population at a rate of 7.5 per cent over the next five years.

The draft also states Esquimalt is in good shape to accommodate its housing needs because the amount of land required for multi-unit developments has not yet reached its max, according to new land use designations.

Those land designation changes include allowing for more commercial opportunities along Admirals Road, Tillicum and Craigflower. As well, increasing densification in some areas, and amending parks and open space designation on ALR land.

At Head Street and Esquimalt Road, the goal is to create commercial mixed-use development that “should occur at a neighbourhood scale.”

The OCP also lays out the goal of encouraging increased use of cycling in the Township, enhancing infrastructure where feasible and encouraging the inclusion of bicycle facilities in all new developments.

In celebrating Esquimalt’s heritage, the bylaw states it intends to work with local First Nations to incorporate more Lekwungen place names within the Township.

Mayor Barb Desjardins said there will be opportunities for public input at various stages of the process, including a public hearing.

The special meeting of council is scheduled for 5:45 p.m., March 26 at municipal hall.

RELATED: U-Bicycle plans to ride into Esquimalt

RELATED: New signage to show Victoria residents and tourists the way

EsquimaltEsquimalt CouncilOfficial Community Plan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Athletes with Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s open men’s staff head out on a high-tech outrigger canoe. The club raised more than $16,500 at its 2020 Wetdasche event. (Courtesy of Fairway Gorge Paddling Club)
Victoria paddling group breaks fundriasing record

Fairway Gorge Paddling Club’s 2020 Wetdashe event raises more than $16,500

Greater Victoria 4-H club member Sava Bell is all smiles holding some of the garden fresh ingredients he used to make his award-winning dish for the Field to Fork Challenge. (Courtesy Agriculture in the Classroom)
Greater Victoria 4-H members among winners in provincewide cooking competition

Field to Fork Challenge encourages B.C. youth to prepare healthy, local foods

Sipili Molia, regional kettle manager, shows off the Salvation Army’s new contactless donation system for the 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign outside municipal hall on Dec. 1. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Tech offers hope as Salvation Army sees need skyrocket across B.C.

Charity is equipping hundreds of kettles across B.C. with ‘touchless giving technology’

Kathy MacNeil, president and chief executive officer of Island Health, Dawn Thomas, acting deputy health minister and Island Health’s vice president, Indigenous health and diversity and Chief Don Tom of Tsartlip First Nation, stand out Saanich Peninsula Hospital Tuesday morning, when they also answered questions about a new report that “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system. (Island Health/Submitted)
Head of Island Health says Saanich Peninsula Hospital not part of racist guessing game

Tsartlip First Nations Chief Don Tom welcomes changes following report but promises future scrutiny

Firefighters on scene for a gas leak in the 800-block of Viewfield Road in Esquimalt on Dec. 1. (Vanessa Nicholson photo)
No injuries after vehicle strikes Esquimalt gas line

Esquimalt Fire Rescue was called to the 800-block of Viewfield Road at 5 p.m.

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read