Sustainability made integral to Highlands planning

After years of volunteer effort, a draft version of Highlands integrated community sustainability plan is out for public perusal

After years of volunteer effort, a draft version of Highlands integrated community sustainability plan is out for public perusal and comment.

The integrated community sustainability plan (ICSP) gives guidance to all future community planning, and will eventually be integrated with Highlands official community plan.

“The ICSP is a process and a way of thinking about sustainability and resiliency,” said planner Laura Beckett. “It is a figurative reference and a way of changing how people think.”

Throughout the document sustainability is discussed in an assortment of areas including buildings, energy, transportation and the economy. Some of the concepts included are to incorporate more use of renewable low-impact resources, such as solar energy.

It also suggests future construction projects are built with water and energy conservation in mind, using a low-impact design and including sustainable materials in construction.

Coun. Allen Dobb, council liaison to the sustainability strategy advisory committee, has been working on the document for the past four years.

“This can act as a bit of a platform to educate ourselves and the community and to help us make better decisions,” Dobb said. “It’s a planning concept.”

Mayor Jane Mendum explained the OCP is a document that helps define what the issue is. “The ICSP is the how.”

“The OCP has legal standing and the ICSP does not,” explained administrator Chris Coates.

The draft has been made public and the committee and council welcome residents’ ideas and suggestion on it. The plan has been created using the sustainability task force final report and recommendations.

“I think the public deserves to see this and I welcome their input,” remarked Coun. Sigurd Johannesen.

For more on the ICSP call Highlands district office at 250-474-1773.



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