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RDCK relaunches Area I OCP update

Residents of some rural areas surrounding Castlegar are being asked to weigh in again on the future of their communities.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is re-launching its review of the Official Community Plan for Electoral Area I to help manage growth and land use development in its communities, including Brilliant, Glade, Thrums, Tarrys, Shoreacres and the Voykin Subdivision.

“The RDCK’s planning department is excited to update this OCP, to get out and connect with community members and to build on current regional planning initiatives underway, such as, the housing action plan and active transportation feasibility study for the Castlegar-Nelson Corridor,” said RDCK Planner Stephanie Johnson.

The project began in 2016-17 with community meetings and a survey but was paused to collect information about the Shoreacres aquifer and Brilliant headponds riparian area and further delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Those studies are now complete and available on the RDCK website. The RDCK says it has also completed some region-wide projects, such as flood mapping, a housing needs assessment and community heritage register that will support the drafting of this OCP.

Johnson said the current plan is over 25 years old. In addition to providing an updated summary of previous work, they will check back in with the community to see if their earlier feedback is still valid.

“We’ll be asking community members that question. If so, great. If not, we may have to go back and do some more engagement, reach out with another survey.”

A virtual open house is scheduled for Jan. 26 at 6 p.m., but Johnson said residents are also welcome to email or phone their feedback in, or arrange to meet in person.

Johnson said an official community plan is a high-level policy document that sets a vision for a community and outlines goals, objectives, and policy that ultimately guide land use management.

“It is a document that gudes growth in a community and it projects out 25-plus years. It’s a long term vision.

“We’re excited about the relaunch and looking to have great engagement opportunities. It’s a plan ideally built for the community by the community. So it would great if people could participate however they feel most comfortable.”

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