Courtenay council is turning to the public for feedback on its draft official community plan.
At the Jan. 17 council meeting, council was presented with the draft Charting Change OCP 2030 – a document with the goal to “paint a powerful picture of what Courtenay will be like in 10 years and beyond, and the steps that will be taken to get there,” according to the report.
The OCP is a bylaw, to be prepared and adopted by city council in compliance with the provincial Local Government Act, essentially creating a plan that guides Courtenay’s decision-making related to growth, development, infrastructure and more until 2031.
The OCP applies to all lands within Courtenay city boundaries and is generally reviewed and updated every 10 years. Amendments can be made to address or respond to changes in the community.
According to the draft, the city is expected to be home to approximately 4,500 more residents. Looking at people, employment, housing and land, an approximate one per cent growth rate is estimated throughout the next 10 years.
The participation rate and unemployment rate are expected to remain steady over the projection period, which is expected to result in approximately 2,630 new jobs among all sectors in the Valley.
In terms of housing, there are 11,705 households in the city (according to the 2016 census) with 3,565 renters (about 30.5 percent).
The city will use four cardinal directions for the OCP: climate action, reconciliation, equity and community well-being as filters to give shapes to the visions as goals of the plan.
The project began in Aug. 2019 (the pandemic and staffing changes added to the OCP’s timeline). The OCP bylaw will be presented to council for consideration of readings in Phase 6 which will be followed by a statutory public hearing. The bylaw is expected to be adopted in June.
Geoff Garbutt, chief administrative officer for the city told council the next step is to proceed with the official consultation and review process with various stakeholders as well as members of the public.
To view the draft OCP, visit https://bit.ly/3GFSZgN.