Key things missing from Oak Bay’s OCP survey

Staying the course didn't seem to be an option in survey

Oak Bay’s official community plan survey, we are told, is anonymous. But it has a PIN number directly tied to an address.

The results of any survey are useful in direct proportion to the type of questions asked. Many issues have been avoided and questions are loaded towards multifamily properties.

One of the goals of the current OCP is to provide clean and safe beaches for public use. In 2012 Oak Bay council voted to change that goal and designated McNeil Bay beach as a year-round dog toilet. The decision was dog-owner driven and did not even exclude the summer months.

Another goal of the current OCP is to maintain the low-profile image of buildings. Planning by variance in Oak Bay has been a big mistake. It has been a policy to allow subdivisions where a single house once stood, and packages of variances to renovated houses which should have only been given on individual merit.

House heights should not be allowed to exceed the given limit. As a result, parts of Oak Bay have become an overbuilt housing estate.

In the Uplands, which has its own set of development guidelines, you can still see houses on large lots with surrounding gardens. Consequently, the question that should have been included in this survey is, “Would you like to see existing public and private vistas protected?”

Helen Slade

Oak Bay