May 29, 2013

The District of Oak Bay’s new Heritage Plan was approved by Council on May 27, 2013. A year in the making and directed by the Oak Bay Heritage Commission, consultants Donald Luxton and Stuart Starck prepared the plan after extensive community input during open houses and a series of focus groups designed around what the community values about Oak Bay history and heritage.

Information gathered at these sessions was supplemented with responses to two survey questionnaires that were available at meetings and online. As a result of these processes, a set of five community values was identified. Participants said they value:
Established Streetscapes & Neighbourhoods (cited by two thirds of survey respondents)
Historic Buildings & Structures
Cultural Landscape Features
Natural Landscape Features & Ecological Heritage (cited by one third of survey respondents)
Oak Bay’s Unique History

The Heritage Plan showcases these values and establishes a set of corresponding goals and describes action planning to achieve these goals. The next step for the District is to integrate the Heritage Plan with the Official Community Plan (OCP) Renewal process currently underway. This will ensure that community values about Oak Bay’s history and heritage are an integral part of Oak Bay’s community planning and development.

Councillor Cairine Green, Council Liaison to Oak Bay Heritage, says “I am grateful to the Commission, staff, and consultants for creating a strong Plan that takes a unique approach to heritage by asking the community what it values about Oak Bay heritage and history.”

A big thank you goes out to all those Oak Bay residents who took the time to attend public sessions and to complete the survey questionnaires. Everyone in the community is encouraged to continue making their concerns heard about Oak Bay’s future through participation in the ongoing OCP Renewal process.

The Heritage Plan is available for viewing on the Oak Bay web site (www.oakbay.ca) and hard copies will also be available soon at the Municipal Hall.