Aerial view of Courtenay and surrounding area. Black Press file photo

Aerial view of Courtenay and surrounding area. Black Press file photo

Courtenay seeking input on community goals and growth

Survey participants could win $100 gift certificates

City of Courtenay submission

Courtenay’s Official Community Plan (OCP) update has reached its next milestone, and the City is seeking the public’s input on how and where future growth (the estimated 4,500 new residents anticipated by 2031) could be accommodated.

A new interactive and visual survey is now available on the project page at www.courtenay.ca/OCPupdate, where respondents can weigh in with their opinion on where we grow, through proposed future growth hotspots; as well as how we grow, featuring ideas for the downtown core, urban centre, neighbourhood hubs, infill, and streets.

Complete the survey by Sept. 8 for a chance to win a $100 gift card to a local downtown Courtenay business.

Other ways to provide feedback include an online Story Map where residents can submit photos and comments, as well as an OCP Exploration Workbook for those looking to explore and share a deeper perspective. The workbook guides the reader through a variety of open-ended questions about what is important in building a community and the future of Courtenay. The workbook can be conducted alone or in small groups, including with children.

“The OCP update is one of council’s top strategic priorities, and we encourage everyone to complete the survey and share their vision for Courtenay’s future,” said Mayor Bob Wells. “All the engagement tools have been designed to be interactive and fun.”

The survey takes between 10-15 minutes to complete and asks participants to rate a series of vision and goal statements, rate and comment on the proposed growth locations and rate a series of photos of development types in order to understand what types of housing, commercial buildings and streetscapes are locally appropriate.

This phase of the OCP update project builds on ideas generated at the Ideas Fair earlier this year, stakeholder engagement, and the council policy direction to be a net-zero GHG community by 2050 as well as be consistent with the Comox Valley Regional District’s Regional Growth Strategy.

Public input will inform community planning goals and development policies which will then be presented to stakeholders and the public in the fall for further feedback. Staff will be exploring opportunities to bring virtual or physically-distanced workshops into eight neighbourhoods across Courtenay in a way that complies with public health orders.

The last significant update for the OCP was in 2005. The upcoming review is expected to carry the community forward over the next 10 years. Council will consider the plan for adoption by early 2021.

To take the survey, or to learn more about the OCP update and subscribe to the project newsletter, visit www.courtenay.ca/OCPupdate

Courtenay