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Residents not too 'chicken' to offer input on Official Community Plan

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 26th, 2011

More than 35 people showed up to the Community Forum yesterday to have a look at the city’s draft Official Community Plan (OCP) and offer their own suggestions as to the direction Castlegar should take as it grows in the years to come.

  A 98-page document detailing everything from housing specifications to air quality aims to crime prevention through environmental design, the draft OCP is comprehensive to say the least, and can be viewed on the city’s website at http://www.castlegar.ca/notice.php?id=153  Joel Short of Urban Systems, the contractor responsible for compiling all the community input gathered so far to generate the draft OCP, offered a half-hour presentation covering a broad overview of the OCP, including the “12 big ideas” on which the city plans to act, the city’s vision statement and more.  A highlight of the evening came when Short touched on the issue of food security and said one of the city’s goals is to, “explore opportunities for raising chickens in urban areas.”  A hugely contentious issue for Castlegar’s sitting mayor and council two years ago, the urban-chicken debate once more sparked upset, as an audience member expounded at some length on his objections to having poultry as neighbours.  When asked why they would include such an incendiary sentence, that arguably has the potential to hijack conversation about the rest of the draft OCP, director of planning and development Phil Markin said the OCP is resident-guided, not city-staff-guided.  “That’s what the focus groups brought up, so that’s what we included,” he explained.  Short said the next steps for the OCP include incorporating the comments and feedback offered, finalizing the OCP document, then begins the process by which council can adopt the OCP as a bylaw, a process which will include a public hearing sometime this summer.  Residents can still offer their input online until June 5. For more information, contact City Hall at 250-365-7227.

Categories: GeneralPolitics

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