Esquimalt council is set to discuss its 2019-2023 draft strategic priorities and plans on May 13 (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Esquimalt to finalize township’s four-year plan

Council will soon make final decisions on its draft strategic goals and priorities

The Township of Esquimalt is set to make its final decisions on its draft strategic priorities and goals at an upcoming committee of the whole meeting.

Council was set to address the plan on April 15, but deferred it until May 13.

The 2019-2023 draft strategic priorities and goals outlines what the Township hopes to address in the next four years.

There are 12 prioritized goals on the list, which are divided into sub-categories.

The list includes:

  • Supporting community growth, housing and development consistent with the Official Community Plan. This include updating parking bylaws, completing a housing inventory and completing staff reports on neighborhood design guidelines
  • Supporting multi-modal transportation strategies by researching strategies and engaging with stakeholders
  • Supporting the arts, culture and heritage community by developing a public art master plan and completing two additional statements of significance in line with the township’s Heritage Policy
  • Enhancing opportunities for Parks and Recreation. This includes the continued replenishment of the Parkland Acquisition fund, and developing long-range design plans for major parkland areas
  • Fully utilizing the $17 million McLoughlin amenity funds. Council is exploring options for these funds; so far popular ideas include a multipurpose venue at either Saxe Point or Esquimalt Gorge Park, the installation of a Japanese tea house at Esquimalt Gorge park, upgrading the field at Bullen Park, installing more space into the Archie Browning Sports Centre and developing an emergency coordination centre.

READ MORE: Esquimalt considers different ways to spend $17-million amenity fund

  • Advancing the work of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by supporting a working group as necessary and as recommendations are made to council
  • Controlling the deer population in partnership with other governments by continuing with annual deer counts with the Department of National Defence. Council is also considering following suit with Oak Bay, and applying to the federal government for permission and funding to give birth control to the area’s deer.

READ MORE: Esquimalt considers birth control for its deer population

  • Developing and implementing strategies consistent with the Climate Action Charter goals. This includes evaluating all public buildings for potential energy inefficiencies, creating a climate adaptation and climate action plan, and participating in the Residential Retrofit Acceleration Project.
  • Developing Health Strategies with the community. Esquimalt is facing a health care crisis after the closure of one of its clinics. It will aim to work with developers and community organizations to research health and wellness, to incorporate health and wellness facilities into new developments and to promote active living. Currently, council is waiting to hear more from the Pepler Group about the community’s health needs, but early indications say 79 per cent of Esquimalt residents do not have a family doctor.

Final discussions on the draft strategic priorities and goals are scheduled for the upcoming committee of the whole meeting on May 13.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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