(Editor’s note: what follows is the writer’s submission to Parksville city council regarding the city’s draft OCP and is being published as a letter to the editor with the writer’s permission.)
The draft official community plan (OCP) is not an improvement over the previous one.
Under the guise of sustainability and with the appearance of inviting public commentary it has achieved neither aim for its contents excludes any foundation for the former and its outcomes are the antithesis to our residents’ very wishes.
Its section on sustainability is mere lip service to the idea with neither valid basis for operation, process for analysis of changes made, nor consequence for failure to adhere to this by law.
The many hours put in by OCP committees to develop a civic aesthetic and plan to begin the basis of reconciling human activity within the context of our natural system has been preempted and foreclosed by council’s small lot zoning which apparently passed during the OCP review process.
What small town atmosphere can be achieved here within the context of tripling density in residential areas willy-nilly throughout our town?
How can this OCP be a benefit to the vast majority of residents when their voice has not only been ignored but bylaws have been put in place that precludes any possibility of residents’ wishes being attained?
The cost of two civic surveys, one prior to the official community plan process and one towards the end of the OCP review has been a waste of our tax dollars.
For the surveys’ outcomes evidently were not what council wished to hear nor was it prepared to act upon what was registered by some thousands of our residents who took the time to carefully consider the dozens of questions in the hope that their submissions would be an active democratic act.
Council and civic staff’s actions, in my opinion put themselves more on a footing equal to emperor rather than that of public servant.
By retaining a model that is intellectually fraudulent (the three legged stool one) council is in fact commenting on how they value this by-law. Clearly not at all!
One can question the integrity of a council that knowingly uses a model that has no basis in reality and has been dismissed world wide by ecologists.
Was the consultant, time and effort to this entire OCP review process simply a form of window dressing to allow council to represent the wishes of about one tenth of one per cent of our residents while apparently ‘listening’ to all those concerned?
To achieve so little at great expense to produce a document that reflects the aims of so few — one can only conclude that it was an utter waste of money!
Yet, council in its wisdom intends to keep raising our taxes about three per cent per year.
No doubt this is necessary because it will need more of our money to continue to find ways to pull the wool over our eyes.