Council has been working on the update for our OCP over the past term. It has taken considerable time for several reasons. One is that our Development Services Department is just so darn busy, and the second factor has been the interest in housing, the concern about affordability, and appropriate options for housing for our community. Busy in the department is really an understatement as staffs have processed 3 significant projects, Esquimalt Town Square, English Inn and Triangle Lands (Now Westbay Quay) as well as many smaller multifamily developments over the term as well. A total of 1,100 units have been approved by this and former councils. This means growth for our community, something we have been strategically working for.
This growth has brought several eateries back to Esquimalt. We have a growing homebased business sector with services from yoga, to massage, flowers to music and dance, graphic design to baking.
In the past Esquimalt has been fairly flat in growth and in fact the census showed a decrease in our population. This has significant effect on our ability to attract new businesses and to provide services and amenities that you would like.
Growth is change, change can be challenging. For the most part we don’t like change. The OCP provides a general outline for growth over the next 10 years. It is a guide not a policy so there can be variations from it but variations must be carefully reviewed and community must have input.
Growth is important and we must continue to grow. Young families are moving here, seniors want to stay here. This is a healthy community. To provide the services for them both to stay, for their children to stay, we must allow growth.
Ensuring various housing stock will help this happen. The OCP is important for our communities future. It is important that you participate.
Please check the draft plan out at : https://www.esquimalt.ca/business-development/official-community-plan-review .