Oak Bay letter: New plan puts emphasis on growth

Concerns with the official community plan begin with the vision statement

I have concerns about the Oak Bay Community Plan (OCP), beginning with the vision statement.

It lists features of the community that we are “proud and passionate” about including an “enviable quality of life.”

Let’s leave envy out of the list of community aspirations. The vision statement also claims that Oak Bay is dynamic. Dynamic is a word like many others in the document (e.g., sustainable, resilient and affordable), it sounds great but push those words a bit and what do you get?

According to the OCP vision statement: We support the changes necessary to meet current and future needs [of the community]. But there’s no list of changes. If someone decides a change is necessary, the vision statement says I support them. What if I don’t?

Page 6 lists broad objectives. The first: consider increases in density. Why? Perhaps this is the answer (page 16): “The CRD’s Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) forecasts Oak Bay’s growth by 2038 to include 680 more dwellings, a population increase of about 2,000.”

But something’s not completely clear: is it a strategy or a forecast? There’s a difference. We could also consider reducing density. Considering something is not an objective.

Also on page 16: “The District could continue to choose a very limited approach to growth per the existing OCP, or it could consider some growth as a tool for meeting the vision, goals and objectives expressed by the community.”

Does this mean we can’t meet the vision, goals and objectives without growth? And what’s the difference between goals and objectives? Nothing, but it’s handy that densification enhances three things, not just two.

If you aren’t on the growth side, then you don’t have vision? This subtle attack on dissenters is my biggest issue with the OCP: if you resist densification you are not green, you’ll bankrupt the community, you are dull, and you are racist.

Think I am stretching it? Just read the atrocious interpretation of the community survey on page 45 of the OCP.

John Taylor

Oak Bay