LETTERS: Changes needed for land use applications

Major concerns have been expressed over the last number of years from the public, developers, staff and council concerning how Oak Bay processes Land Use Applications Requiring a Public Hearing (the applications process).

Examples include applications for the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Oak Bay Lodge, Clive and Quest (second time). Future applications are expected for the Oak Bay United Church property, Oak Bay Lodge (second time) and Quest (third time).

The present process is inefficient, costly, divisive and leaves community and developers frustrated, angry and often split.

The municipality is presently preparing a new procedures bylaw governance document, which includes how Oak Bay will address the application process. Unfortunately it does not presently address the public’s complaints or input, and some find the process hard to follow. For a number of these complaints, I offer a suggestion.

Suggestion 1: Council strongly urges developers to hold a well-run meeting to give the community a look at an early stage of planning their proposal, what they are considering and give feedback. (Councilors would be in attendance, along with observers, given the number of applications received this should not be onerous).

Suggestion 2: The Terms of Reference of the Advisory Design Panel and Advisory Planning Commission be modified to allow written and oral public input.

Suggestion 3: The public have the right to speak at council (presently they need the chair’s permission).

Suggestion 4: During a public hearing the public is allowed to give their five minutes to a specific person, so that longer and more meaningful presentations can be made.

Suggestion 5: the status of the application plus relevant documents will be posted on an ongoing basis on the municipal website. One of the elected council members promises was to ensure robust public engagement.

Without the above suggestions being contained in a written protocol I strongly believe the community will turn “thumbs down” on the presently proposed application process.

Mike Wilmut

Oak Bay

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

Just Posted

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Victoria teen heads to BC Winter Games with badminton team

Alexia Sogai will compete with 10 other teammates from the region

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Comic Con returns to Victoria with star-studded guest list

2020 Capital City Comic Con to host cosplay stars and at least 9,500 attendees

Vikes coach joining Team Canada at Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Two-time Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff named to coaching staff

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citizenship, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

Most Read