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Developing West Bay

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

Have you looked at the form and character of land use changes proposed in Esquimalt’s Official Community Plan (OCP) for developing West Bay in the future? Are you familiar with the zoning bylaws relevant to the area in which you live? Have you recently looked at a copy of the West Bay Neighbourhood Design Guidelines?

The following documents are worthy of your review. They provide important information and details about where you live, some of the proposed changes that are planned for our West Bay community - maybe even across the street from where you live - and guidelines about how development should occur in West Bay in the future.

Schedule ‘A’ and ‘B’ of the OCP (pages 156 and 157): Schedule ‘A” is a coloured map and legend confirming the present land use designations of any given lot, and Schedule ‘B’ is a map confirming the proposed land use designation for those lots in the future.

The proposed designations specific to West Bay on Schedule B, south of Esquimalt Road, consist of Neighbourhood Commercial Mixed-Use (which allows up to 6 storeys), Low Density Residential (which allows single family homes), Townhouse Residential (which allows townhouses up to 3 stories), Medium Density Residential (which allows up to 6 storeys), and on the north side of Esquimalt Road, which is considered part of West Bay, is Commercial/Commercial Mixed Use (which allows up to 12 storeys) and High Density Residential (which allows up to 12 storeys). Please note that the Lexi property at 899 Esquimalt Road was changed in 2019 to Commercial Commercial Mixed Use from Neighbourhood Commercial Mixed-Use and the Swallows Landing property on Dunsmuir is identified as High Density Residential.

Schedule ‘H’ of the OCP (page 163): Schedule ‘H’ is a coloured map with a legend detailing the Development Permit Areas (DPAs) of specific areas and lots. DPAs are designated in order to promote appropriate development objectives through the use of guidelines, specific to such things as environmental conservation, form and character of intensive residential development, commercial and multi-family development, hazardous areas and other objectives. West Bay is designated as DPA No.11 with specific guidelines dedicated to its form and character and certain protections.

Detached Accessory suites: Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADU’s) or garden suites are now permitted in certain areas of Esquimalt. These areas will be added to Schedule H as a Development Permit Area in the future.

West Bay Neighbourhood Design Guidelines: These guidelines were developed through a comprehensive, collaborative, community-based, Council approved process and now form part of the Esquimalt OCP, as DPA No.11, (pages 114 – 152). They are meant to ensure that new development enhances rather than detracts from West Bay’s unique character and identify. They are more important than ever now because of the increased development pressure that West Bay is facing.

Also included are the following documents:

Zoning Bylaw No 2050, Consolidated for Convenience: This consolidated document provides information for all areas of Esquimalt, the zoning applicable to each area and specific lot, and what is permissible and required under that particular zoning.

Zoning Map: A coloured map and legend that provides a high level overview of each Esquimalt area, and the zoning applicable to each lot.

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