Official community plan to be revealed

  • Mar. 28, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Submitted by Rob Barrs, HB Lanarc Consultants Ltd-If you are wondering about the status of the Official Community Plan for Electoral Area D – Rural Graham Island then read on. Some of you may have participated in the OCP workshops and kitchen table meetings in 2008. After that, work slowed on the OCP because the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District had to find a new consultant. However, the OCP is back on track.Over the past year or so, a dedicated group of community volunteers, the Community Advisory Committee, has been working with the new consultant, HB Lanarc Consultants, to develop a draft OCP based on a variety of issues and concerns that have been raised. Various government and Haida agencies also provided feedback on the initial draft document to ensure that it doesn’t conflict with other plans and policies. Soon, it will be your turn to review the draft. Open houses will be held in mid-April to give you a chance to review and comment on the OCP. These comments will be considered for the final draft of the Plan. What is an OCP? An OCP is a statement of community values, objectives, and policies that defines how a community wants to develop in the future. The regional board uses an OCP to guide land use and development decisions. OCPs also contain advocacy policies that request other agencies to help achieve community objectives. If the OCP is adopted by the regional district, all future decisions about land use and zoning must be consistent with the OCP – so it is an important document and it is important to make your views known in April.How does an OCP differ from the zoning bylaw? Rural Graham Island has an interim zoning bylaw (192). This bylaw tells landowners and developers what type of use is currently allowed on their land, the minimum lot size for subdivision, and how far buildings must be set back from the lot lines. In contrast, the OCP guides the SQCRD’s decisions about future land use changes. In other words, the OCP won’t generally change what landowners are allowed to develop on their land right now, because that is defined by the zoning bylaw. But, if landowners want to change their zoning, it must be consistent with the OCP. Why do we need an OCP?Currently, Rural Graham Island does not have an OCP. So, decisions about zoning changes and other policies have to be debated every time they arise. The regional district board has no overall guide that indicates what the community wants when making decisions. The OCP can help provide this clarity to the regional district and other levels of government. How can you get involved?. Download a copy of the OCP from: www.GrahamIslandOCP.net (Printed copies will be available for review at SQCRD offices and in public libraries on the island). Attend one of the public open houses (listed below). Fill in a survey on the website or at the open housesPlease attend one or more of the upcoming open houses: . Wednesday, April 13 at the Trout House on Tow Hill Road, drop in from 4 pm until 8:30 pm.. Thursday, April 14 at the Tlell fire hall, drop in from 4 pm until 8:30 pm.. Saturday, April 16 in the seniors’ room at the Port Clements multiplex, 1-4 pm. A formal presentation will be given at 2 pm.We hope you will take the time to attend the meetings and provide your feedback. More information is available at: www.GrahamIslandOCP.net

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