Council meetings resumed in September with a variety of agenda topics. A common element that surfaces too often is the lack of timely information to support decisions. Whether its bike lanes or daycare, residents frequently voice concerns that data is not up to date. Too often the response is that, despite outdated bylaws, policies or reports, a decision follows the vision of the Official Community Plan. But the OCP is also out of date.
Adopted in 2014, Oak Bay’s Official Community Plan was based on 2011 Census information. Utilities and services information is from a 2009 report. Affordable housing targets are not achievable according to the 2017 CRD (McClanaghan) report. OCP monitoring and review indicators have not been started, nor has an appendix been attached to reference changes in LGA clauses, or other changes or amendments to the OCP. Page 3 of the OCP states ‘An OCP that reflects the community therefore must be a “living document” that is amended from time to time.’ Council, however, neglects the commitment to that objective.
If updated, an Official Community Plan is a valuable resource, if not it’s only a tool of convenience to justify decisions without qualitative or quantitative evaluation.