Aaron Stone, chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, invites the public to have their say in the development of the district’s new regional Official Community Plan. (File photo)

CVRD looks for public input on first regional official community plan

Online survey now available

Want to help shape the future of your community?

People living in the nine electoral areas of the Cowichan Valley Regional District are being asked to do just that.

The district is inviting residents of its electoral areas to join the conversation about its regional harmonized Official Community Plan by participating in an online questionnaire through PlaceSpeak that is available on the CVRD’s website.

“The Cowichan region is changing and population growth, an evolving economy and a changing climate require regional coordination and local action,” a CVRD press release said.

“To support this coordinated effort, the CVRD is updating its OCP, the main tool guiding how we use land and shape our communities. The OCP guides planning for our nine electoral areas.”

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN WANTS REGIONAL GROWTH STRATEGY TO CURB URBAN SPRAWL

Aaron Stone, chairman of the CVRD, said the CVRD began this process by “harmonizing” its existing electoral area OCPs into one regional OCP, and is now moving towards modernizing that OCP to address regional trends.

He said the result of this process will be a regional OCP that will set the foundation for the Cowichan Valley to be an attractive place to live, work, and play for years to come.

This regional OCP does not cover the four incorporated areas in the district (City of Duncan, District of North Cowichan, Town of Ladysmith and Town of Lake Cowichan) which each have their own OCPs.

RELATED STORY: CVRD’S AFFORDABLE-HOUSING STRATEGY MOVES FORWARD

Stone said four well-attended open houses were also held on the issue across the nine electoral areas in February.

“The meetings were opportunities for a good engagement with the public,” he said.

“People are excited about the process.”

Stone said his perception is that the directors of the nine electoral areas are “on board” with the regional and harmonized OCP, as long as the unique characteristics of their individual areas continue to be recognized.

“There may have been a push in the past to make all areas the same in the OCP, but in the current process, there will still be local area plans and those areas will be treated as unique. Once we have completed the harmonization of the OCP, then we’ll concentrate on the local area plans.”

All of the input the CVRD receives through the public engagement process will be recorded in an engagement report that will be presented to the CVRD board.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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