The Cowichan Valley Regional District will hold a virtual public hearing on Sept. 21 to gather public input on plans to renew the district’s official community plan.
The first phase of the OCP’s renewal process is to consolidate and harmonize the existing community plans for the CVRD’s nine electoral areas into a single OCP.
This regional OCP does not cover the four incorporated areas in the district (City of Duncan, District of North Cowichan, Town of Ladysmith and Town of Lake Cowichan) which each have their own OCPs.
The district said the intention of the OCP renewal is for it to be achieved without significant changes in policy direction, future land-use designations or designations of development permit areas in the electoral areas.
“Local area plans contained within existing electoral area OCPs are included in the new OCP without significant amendment, and the existing electoral area plans will be repealed,” the district said.
“The second phase [of the renewal of the OCP] will include updating and modernizing the OCP, including local area plans, following community consultations and a further public hearing.”
The CVRD has said the main reason behind renewing the OCP is that the Cowichan region is changing and population growth, an evolving economy and a changing climate require regional coordination and local action.
“To support this coordinated effort, the CVRD is updating its OCP (for the nine electoral areas), which is the the main tool guiding how we use land and shape our communities,” the statement said.
In a previous interview, CVRD chairman Aaron Stone said there may have been a push in the past to make all areas the same in the OCP, but in the current process, there will still be local area plans and those areas will be treated as unique.
For those who wish to participate in the virtual public hearing, registration can be made at https://cowichanvalleyrd.webex.com and enter the meeting information number 146 246 6637#.
It’s recommended that registration be completed several days in advance of the public hearing to ensure device and audio compatibility.
People can also join the public hearing by calling 1-833-311-4104 and when prompted, enter 146 246 6637# and then enter the password 98942633#
Written submissions can be delivered to the CVRD’s office at 175 Ingram St., by email at PublicHearings@cvrd.bc.ca, or by mail to the Community Planning Division, CVRD, 175 Ingram St. with the postal code V9L-1N8.
The deadline for written submissions is 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 20.