Sidney, BC.; Housing, development, the environment and other key topics will be explored as Sidney gets started on the public rollout of its Official Community Plan (OCP) review and update project. The OCP will serve as a blueprint for future growth and development in the community.
This fall will see the rollout of the first of many public engagement opportunities over the two-year project, beginning with the Project Launch Event, taking place at the Mary Winspear Centre on September 26, 2020 from 3-6 p.m. Other opportunities for the public to get involved will be announced on the project website, www.sidney.ca/ocp, via the Town’s social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook and also through newspaper advertisements and word of mouth. This first public stage of the project builds on several months of internal project work at the Town, including project planning, policy review, and the establishment of an OCP Review Advisory Committee to provide community guidance.
“The OCP is an important tool for the Town and helps existing and future residents, property owners and the business community know what is being planned for our community in the years to come,” Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith said. “Our end goal with this update is to have a clear, user-friendly and pragmatic plan that will guide change in Sidney over the next 10 to 20 years.”
Billed as “Sidney 2040: Our future by the sea”, the OCP review process seeks to build a community consensus around growth and change in Sidney, as well as support the objectives of the Capital Regional District’s Regional Growth Strategy. OCP’s are long-range planning documents that represent a community’s vision for the future, and provide direction about future land use, transportation, environmental protection, and other aspects of a community that affect quality of life. OCP’s work in concert with zoning, which defines the current permitted uses on a property. The Town’s current OCP was adopted in 2007.
“Community engagement is a fundamental pillar of community planning and it’s important that this plan reflects all voices within the community in order to build a comprehensive vision for Sidney,” Mayor McNeil-Smith noted. “While the COVID-19 pandemic will have some impacts, we will find ways to creatively and safely engage our residents, businesses and community organizations.”
In-person project events will take place with physical distancing protocols in place and be combined with online engagement options, including the use of online surveys and virtual open houses. Community members wishing to participate in person or online in the September 26th Public Launch Event are asked to register to ensure that room capacity and physical distancing guidelines can be met. Individuals can register via the Town’s website at www.sidney.ca/ocp or by contacting the Town at 250-656-1725 to reserve a time slot.
Information about the OCP review project and associated community engagement events will always be available at www.sidney.ca/ocp, and will also be promoted through advertisements in the Peninsula News Review, on Town of Sidney social media channels, and through a “community ambassador” program.