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General News · 9th June 2009
The OCP review committee
Think of our Cortes Official Community Plan as a blueprint for a healthy community. Come join us on Saturday 13 June for Blue Sky visioning

The Cortes Official Community Plan describes our island goals and aspirations. It is a document that is created by a community process through careful reflection on what is important for us and our island, visioning how we want to live now and into the future.

Because any healthy community consists of a wide range of ages, family configurations, incomes and health concerns, our needs are bound to change over time. Other dynamic factors include: the effects of climate change, the availability of natural resources, the cost of transportation and the general state of the larger economy. All of these conditions encourage us to increase the resiliency of our community and to make it as self-sufficient as possible.

It is up to all of us to contribute to this process, which will determine what we want and how we want to get it done. At the end of the OCP review process, (2 years down the road), we will have an Official Community Plan, to serve as a blueprint to help us achieve our goals. The more the community participates in its drafting, the better the document will be in serving our needs.

To kick off the OCP review, everyone is invited to a community-based ‘Blue Sky’ visioning session on June 13th 2009 from 1 - 7 pm. Free childcare will be provided. The process will be organic and build on itself as the afternoon progresses. It is important that all participants are present from the start of the event - even if you have to leave early.

This may well be the most FUN part of the review. ‘Blue Sky’ is a vision without clouds - a way for us to engage in exploratory thinking and to harness each participant’s creativity, uncensored and without constraints. It is about possibilities and dreaming tomorrow’s dream, thinking outside the box, throwing good and bad ideas into the room without self-censorship and then distilling the mix into a tasty brew. It is time to start thinking and talking with your friends and neighbours about innovative ideas for transportation, economic opportunities, housing options, preserving the island's heritage, where development should and shouldn't happen and what kind of services you’d like to see. Come to the ‘Blue Sky’ session and share these ideas, which, when added to those of others, will build the collective vision of how we'll make Cortes a better place to live.

Who should be there? Given that we are all unique and living out varying life stages, we want as many interest groups or individual voices as possible. We want to see young people who are just starting out in their adult life, those who were not around during our last OCP review, people who are in the prime of their work life, those in retirement, the to-be in retirement, the landowners, aspiring landowners, home renters, the no-home renters, the able-bodied, the getting-not-so able-bodied, the homesteader, the earth mother, the city dweller. Everyone!

In latter stages of the review process, these ideas will be narrowed down to a document called the Official Community Plan that can be used as a blueprint for development. The OCP is a live and contemporary document that expresses the will of the community as it stands now.