The Town of Comox OCP planning process started in November 2009 and a large number of public meetings have been held since then to gain input from residents.
I applaud Town council and staff, and the project co-ordinators (the Arlington Group) for organizing and holding so many public meetings.
However, after more than a year of consultation, the public is only being given one or two months and two public meetings to learn about what the recommended new OCP is, and to comment on it. I am writing this letter to shout out to Comox residents now is the time to pay attention to the OCP.
The first meeting to learn about the recommended OCP was held on March 7, followed by a council discussion held March 16. I attended both of those meetings and I am very concerned about several items, I list only two concerns in the following:
• The proposed view corridor protection provisions for downtown Comox are woefully inadequate. This problem magnifies with the fact that building height is being limited only by a very broad “storey” limit rather than a specific measured height, and combined with building width on a lot or multiple lots, creates serious issues. This potentially means that the “sea” in Village by the Sea may become invisible to people living, walking and cycling in the community.
• The plan for walkways and bikeways has yet to be presented (although a special public meeting on this has been scheduled for April 4), and inquiries I have made on this topic appear to indicate that the planning work done to-date has been is lacking depth and local knowledge, and is running behind schedule.
I urge Comox residents, builders, developers, the Cycling Coalition and everyone in the Valley interested in improvements to non-car transportation infrastructure to go to www.comoxocp.ca and get involved in this final phase of the Comox OCP project.
Town Council is planning to approve the OCP in May, yet I believe that most Comox residents do not understand what the proposed plan is and what its implications are.
This is a 20-year plan — let’s make it one that we can all be proud of!