View Royal council has scrapped the draft OCP revision started before the municipal election over concerns it did not take into account public input which was largely against the community changes in the draft.
A motion not to proceed with the current OCP draft and to hold a day-long council workshop to look at both how the 2011 OCP could instead updated, and what that process should look like in terms of community engagement passed 6-1 with Coun. Alison MacKenzie the only dissenter during a council meeting Feb. 21.
The vast majority of council agreed that the process used to create the now-scrapped draft OCP was flawed. During deliberation on the motion, most council members said they heard from residents repeatedly during October’s election that they felt they had largely been ignored during the process, despite public engagement sessions and surveys being carried out.
Mayor Sid Tobias said during the meeting the draft OCP never changed following public input, despite that being the purpose of public input, and he heard from residents the engagement sessions felt more like residents were being lectured to about the draft OCP, rather than being listened to, and First Nations were only consulted toward the end of the process when they should have been consulted from the start.
He said the principal community concerns with the draft OCP surrounded the updated land use designations map, which outlines what sort of development should be permitted in each area of the town, and how changes to that map were concentrated more in the Helmcken and Harbour neighbourhoods than other parts of the community.
MacKenzie raised concerns about the possibility the new process could produce the same result, wasting town resources, as the reason she would not support the motion.
Coun. Gery Lemon raised similar concerns given some $135,000 has already been spent to produce the now scrapped draft OCP, but ended up supporting the motion after her colleagues clarified there would be no reason they could not retain parts of the draft for the new process, should they be deemed worth saving.
No date for the council workshop to review the OCP process was set at the meeting.