City plan won’t be done this year

Parksville’s official community plan (OCP) review process is moving slower than predicted, but is making good progress according to director of community planning Gayle Jackson.

Emma Lamperson

Emma Lamperson

Parksville’s official community plan (OCP) review process is moving slower than predicted, but is making good progress according to director of community planning Gayle Jackson.

She said the advisory committees are going through the existing OCP “chapter and verse,” which they didn’t anticipate, but is perfectly appropriate.

“I’ve always stressed that the process will take as long as it takes,” she said.

While it was originally estimated to be complete around the end of 2011, Jackson always said that was just a general guide and they would not rush anything.

“We just want to do the process properly,” Jackson told The News for an earlier story, now adjusting her estimate to completion next spring.

“We’re in a heads down working phase right now,” she said of the committees that have been slowed some by the summer but are still meeting around once a month.

They were also slowed somewhat by the departure of the primary person they were dealing with at consulting firm HB Lanarc and may be slowed again somewhat by the municipal election in November.

“We are not trying to stop city business during the review process,” she said but admits it probably does slow some things down.

“We certainly inform people that the OCP process is underway and it probably influences their decision,” she said about things like development applications.

There have been dozens of meetings including six public visioning workshops, two youth forums, internal staff meetings and the two advisory committees.

These have occurred since the long talked about process officially started in May 2010.

They are currently nearing the end of phase 2.4, the 25th of 54 non-equal steps in the original consultant’s proposal.

That schedule is broken into three broad phases, the completed Getting Starting & Understanding the Context phase, the Vision & Strategic Directions phase they are well into and the Draft & Final Plans.

As they near the end of the current intensive data collection phase a progress report is expected before council within the next couple months, Jackson said.

The city’s website at www.parksville.ca has an extensive section on the process under the big “Parksville Plan 2020” button. It includes timelines, supporting documents and the results of various stages.