Village of Pemberton Announces Review of Official Community Plan
Pembertonians are encouraged to attend an open house on March 6 to give their views on the future of Spud Valley
Do you live in Pemberton? See a glaring problem or area of need in your community? Do you have any thoughts or visions of what Spud Valley could (or should) be like in the coming years? Then you will soon have the opportunity to express this opinion in the circle of your elected representatives and fellow citizens.
On January 16th, Village of Pemberton (VOP) staff announced the public launch of a review of the Official Community Plan (OCP), as well as the first opportunity for residents to engage with this critical policy update: community open house on Monday, March 6th
“Reviewing the OCP is a strategic priority for the Pemberton Village Council,” Mayor Mike Richman said in a press release. “This review is an opportunity to identify our vision as a community and develop a roadmap to achieve that vision. We would like the Pemberton community to get involved and join us in this important work to define the future of Pemberton.”
What is OCP and why is it important?
The OCP is Pemberton’s highest level policy document that communicates the community’s vision, goals and objectives. It outlines Pemberton’s long-term development plans, guides future land use, and serves as the basis for the village’s approach to various social issues.
“The OCP review will address a number of important priorities in the Pemberton community such as: B. Reconciliation, environmental sustainability and community resilience, housing and our local economy,” said Kevin Clark, Chair of the Review Committee OCP. “It is critical that we consider these important issues as we look to the future, and we hope that the community will get involved.”
All other Pemberton bylaws and policies must comply with the OCP, explained planner Colin Brown. “Our current mouth was last completed in 2011, so it has passed its expiration date,” he said. “At this point, we are ready to ask the public what they think Pemberton should look like in 2050.”
In addition, the OCP will build on other community and regional planning initiatives including but not limited to: the Community Climate Action Plan, the Pemberton Valley Recreation Trails Action Plan , and the Affordable Housing Action Plan for Seniors.
Some people may view their government as an isolated entity that ignores or is indifferent to the experiences and concerns of the public. Brown wants Pembertonians to know that this is not the case and that they can play a vital role in shaping the future of their home by participating in the OCP review.
“This is an opportunity for the public to say on a wide range of issues,” he said. “When we consider different development work or different projects around the community, one of the first places we go is the OCP. What does the OCP say about this? And it is based on significant public engagement.
“[As VOP staff]we have an ongoing list of issues in our office or in the back of our heads, but we need the public to really tell us which of these are the most important and what should be prioritized.”
It’s still early in the process, and Brown estimates the OCP review could take anywhere from 18 months to two years. For now, he and his VOP colleagues hope to ask Pembertonians three key questions: what do they love about their community, what would they change, and how do they see Pemberton in 2050? They are broad questions, but ones that should fuel ongoing conversations in the coming months.
Open house: open to everyone
Accessibility was an important criterion for VOP employees for the Community Open House on March 6th. It takes place at the Pemberton Community and District Center, a downtown facility that many can walk or ride to. The event will run from 4:30pm to 7:30pm, with a 20 minute presentation by VOP planning consultants starting at 5pm. This is followed by small group discussions, which allow participants to discuss almost any topic in a fluent and accessible way.
Information boards and interactive activities are displayed for those who can only stop for a moment.
“The Open House is designed to be a drop-in event,” Brown said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone there all the time.”
Pembertonians unable to attend the March 6 open house are still encouraged to attend the OCP review. One way they can do this is through “Kitchen Table Discussions”: informal conversations with friends, family and neighbors about issues relevant to the community. Discussion packets can be picked up at the village office and community center – these include self-paced discussion points and a $25 discount on food and drink to subsidize the potential cost of the meeting during a meal
In addition, any community member can contact VOP staff online at haveyoursay.pemberton.ca. The website has been updated since January 16 and contains more information about the OCP review and other projects taking place in the village. Brown also encouraged Pembertonians to keep an eye out for posters, stickers and QR codes being placed on public buildings and vehicles this week to promote OCP screening.