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

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

EsquimaltEsquimalt CouncilOfficial Community Plan

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

Just Posted

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read