General News · 21st June 2011
There is a lot going on these days under my regional director hat.
Soon you will see an announcement for the official opening celebration for the new recycling centre building, and later in the summer a celebration of Hanks Beach becoming a Regional District park! We have had a public hearing for the Klahoose geoduck application south of Squirrel Cove, with an upcoming rezoning process for their aquaculture application in the Gorge. Last week, I was invited to present Cortes stories to the Island’s Trust council; a 26 member council that represents all planning and land-use decisions for the southern gulf islands. This was a wonderful chance to hear other island perspectives and bring ideas home. There will soon be community consultation on a Cortes wildfire protection plan as well as a regional solid waste plan. I have been looking into some elder home support ideas and there is some movement on the Cortes forest front as well that will be coming your way shortly. Also, I am starting to get returned surveys from island non-profits about opportunities for collaboration and training, and have taken on the coordination of the ‘Literacy Now – skills centre’ board training month in September. Feel free to contact me if any of these catches your attention. Oh, and then there is the community plan…
Official Community Plan Update
Yes indeed, the OCP has been much delayed – but not yes missing. The consultant, Focus, was tardy in generating the second draft which, when delivered to the Regional District planning staff, still needed work to bring it to a quality that could be well received by the community. Just in the last few days that draft has been shared with myself and the OCP steering committee who will be meeting in the last week of June to discuss and provide feedback. It will then be released to the community in the early part of July and public meetings will follow as necessary. There has been some concern recently about the OCP being reviewed behind closed doors. Somebody needs to generate a draft that can be responded to by the community. We cannot expect the community at large to generate the draft itself. That is why we have paid staff and dedicated committee volunteers. If there was not thoughtful consideration given to delivering a quality draft to the community, then we would be back to responding to a sloppy draft that detracts from focusing on the content. There will be ample time for public engagement, comment and crafting, as there has been for the past 2 years of this OCP journey. As I have committed before, I will not recommend that we adopt our new OCP until we have the best revision possible that reflects the best reasonable island consensus.