CRD shares Williams Lake fringe area OCP with city

The Cariboo Regional District shared a draft of its Williams Lake Fringe Area official community plan with Williams Lake city council.

The Cariboo Regional District shared a draft of its Williams  Lake Fringe Area official community plan with Williams Lake city council Tuesday.

CRD manager of planning services Rick Brundrige and Area F director Joan Sorley gave a power point presentation, highlighting similarities with the plan, titled Building Communities Together, and that of Williams Lake’s OCP.

They include invasive plants, community groups, climate change, trail networks, quality of life and transportation.

“We’ve identified things we want to build on with the city,” Brundrige said.

The Williams Lake fringe is the largest area within the CRD, with 60 per cent of it in agricultural land reserves.

“We have complexities with different matters of consideration,” he explained. “We all have concerns about the natural environment and we want people to come and live in the Williams Lake area.”

Clean air and wooded skylines along the lake are part of that vision.

In surveys a number of people expressed interest in additional access to Williams Lake.

“There are some legal accesses that have never been marked or cleared. People access the lake through Scout Island and a few other places

Back in 2005, the CRD began developing the plan, finishing most recently with six months of meetings with local First Nations at Soda Creek, Sugar Cane and Alkali Lake.

“In order to get to where we are today, there were a bunch of background studies we partnered with the city on such as the Williams Lake fire interface plan 2005, the Golder Report for geo-tech hazards which we both benefited from, a separate report on ground water for Esler which is used for recreation activities, and we’re concerned about having population influences over the recreation fields and vice versa,” Brundrige said, adding the air quality roundtable is still quite active.

Lately a heritage plan was adopted in 2007 between the city and the CRD.

Limitations for the fringe OCP are the number of woodlots that exist, wildfires and the lack of sewer and water infrastructure in the Dog Creek and Mountview area, Brundrige said.

In March the plan had first and second reading at the board level, and was sent to the city for comments.

Staff has made comments, but council will meet at a future committee of the whole meeting to add its opinions.

City planning technician Chris Hutton said the report talks about additional integration between the CRD and the city.

“Any additional integration is beneficial to both parties,” Hutton said.

One difference he pointed out includes the CRD’s focus on protecting agricultural lands for food production, whereas the city’s focus is more involved with the directions of supply and demand of food.

“The focus on a climate action plan and taking a regional approach is an ongoing project for both parties at this time,” he said.

The OCP will go to a public information meeting on April 4, followed by a formal public hearing and final adoption by the regional board.

“It’s intended to be a living document,” Sorley said, adding it’s not intended when it’s finally adopted to be the end of it.

A copy of the plan is available on the CRD website.