The public can view the City’s draft OCP

The public is being given the opportunity to have a say in the City of Williams Lake’s future.

The public is being given the opportunity to have a say in the City of Williams Lake’s future.

Throughout the month of March the draft Official Community Plan will be before the public for comment.

The plan, says city planner Liliana Dragowska, is the City’s most important bylaw document governing land-use direction for the next five to 10 years.

The draft OCP has incorporated 10 priority areas that were identified during the City’s Integrated Community Sustainability plan and include: social well-being, lively downtown, active and convenient transportation, affordable housing and livable neighbourhoods, world-class recreation, cherished local ecosystems, distinctive arts, culture and heritage, partnering with First Nations, resilient economy and local food and agriculture.

A land-use plan forms the basis of the OCP and sets aside different areas for different uses. Specific objectives of the land-use plan include: reinforcing a natural hierarchy of land uses, ensuring a sufficient supply of employment lands with flexible uses to ensure economic sustainability, encouraging innovation in design and construction with a “Cariboo Western theme,” creating a system of inter-connecting pedestrian, cycling and transit routes, ensuring an adequate supply of land is designated for residential development, protecting residential areas from the potential impacts of commercial and industrial land uses, encouraging diversity of residential types, directing residential development to areas where services are available or where services can be efficiently be connected to existing City infrastructure.

“Now we have a draft we’re looking for comment in the month of March from the community,” Drawgowska says.

“Is this the vision we want to see? Is this the direction we want to take for the next five to 10 years in policy?”

It is expected the OCP will have a life span of 10 years but could undergo a minor review within five.

“We want to check in, in the next five years because things do change,” Dragowska says.

The public will be able to see the draft OCP throughout the month of March at the following locations and times: March 9 at Safeway from 4-6 p.m., March 16 at Walmart from 4-6 p.m., March 23 at Save on Foods from 4-6 p.m. and March 30 at Canadian Tire from 4-6 p.m.

The adoption of the document will begin in April and include a series of public meetings and consultations. Formal adoption of the OCP isn’t expected until June.