The Official Community Plan was adopted in 2011 after thousands of hours of citizen participation, including an extensive “Quality of Life Survey”, public workshops, open houses and public meetings. The current Council will vote on April 7 to expand the Plan’s “urban containment boundary”, which limits urban sprawl and focuses development within well-defined areas of the Town. The Council intends to do this with a simple majority (three of five votes), without the benefit of an OCP review.
“The Town should conduct a substantive public review of the Official Community Plan with the participation of residents before considering a significant OCP change like this”, QBRA spokesman and vice-president, Dave Golson said. “Our Board does not agree that the single information meeting on the proposed amendment, organized by the Town on March 4, provided sufficient opportunity for the public to consider its implications”, he said. “That meeting was not well advertised and did not have the benefit of clearly explained background information for local residents to consider”, he said. “As volunteers, we would prefer that the Town conduct a substantive OCP review process but, in the absence of this, we are doing what we can.”
The March 4 Town meeting was attended by forty residents. “The summary of written opinions provided by participants at this meeting revealed significant concern by most people who attended”, Mr. Golson said. “We agree with those councilors who have said that the matter is not well understood by the public”, he said.