Lake Cowichan’s Official Community Plan sent to council

With satisfaction in the air, the town’s Advisory Planning Commission met Thursday, September 8, to work out a few lingering kinks in the plan before sending it to council.

  • Sep. 12, 2011 9:00 a.m.

From left is town commission member Hazel Beech

The town’s Official Community Plan is now in council’s hands.

With satisfaction in the air, the town’s Advisory Planning Commission met Thursday, September 8, to work out a few lingering kinks in the plan before sending it to council.

One lingering kink was with regard to comprehensive development permit areas for the J.H. Boyd property and Palsson Elementary School.

The permit areas were some of the least-supported proposed changes to the plan, and the commission was accepting of the public’s feedback.

“I don’t think the community wants these properties any different,” chair Chris Rolls said during the meeting.

As such, all remaining mentions of development permit areas for the properties were stricken from the plan.

Another contentious issue with the plan has been with regard to animal husbandry, or the allowance of backyard chickens.

In dealing with this issue, the commission has passed any decisions made in this regard to the town’s elected officials, as it was too polarizing an issue for the commission to make a decision.

Overall, it’s been a successful process, with more public feedback than usual, commission members agreed.

“We invited people, and we got feedback,” Rolls said.

“There’s been no lack of public feedback,” town planner James van Hemert agreed. “If there isn’t a bit of conflict, we haven’t done a good job.”

Now, the Official Community Plan is out of the commission’s hands for a couple weeks as it makes its way through the hands of the town’s elected officials for first and second readings.

Council will consider passing first and second reading of the 112 page document during their September 20 meeting. This will be followed by a public hearing, Tuesday, October 25, at 6 p.m.

A series of public meetings were held in March of this year, after which time the commission made numerous changes to the document.

Once council adopts the document, commission members still have duties to perform.

“There’s still a role for this commission afterward,” commission member Les Bowd said.

“We still exist, so council can ask us our advice,” Rolls said.

Upgrades to the plan are also ongoing, with plan amendments possible between drafts.

A recent draft of the Official Community Plan is available for download on the town’s website, at www.town.lakecowichan.bc.ca.

Scroll over “News” tab at the top and then click on “Draft Official Community Plan.”

The Official Community Plan is a document that serves to provide the town’s elected officials with guidance over the course of their term as to what the community wants to see happen in their town.

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