Time to speak out

Has the City of Parksville lost the way on OCP issues?

Has the City of Parksville lost the way?

At the beginning of the discussion in Parksville about a revised OCP over three years ago, there were eight big questions listed by Parksville’s planning department to answer to help revise the OCP. I cannot find more than one that seems to be answered in the recently-released OCP draft.

But the one that surely has not been addressed is this: “Should the amount of multi-family be ‘pulled back’ so as to create more of an inducement to build in the downtown area?”

Before the draft even became public, council approved two new, high-density, multi-family developments on two edges of the town. And there are more proposed multi-family in the draft than there are in the current OCP. This will not create a denser downtown.

Another concern is that rather than encourage planned multi-family, there is a real push to create little lots and perpetuate bad planning.

The draft OCP is making it possible to have regular lots of 400 square meters and small lots of 300 to 250 square meters. Both are too small in a small city — in fact, 250 square meters is smaller than most trailer lots.

In none of these different changes, is the vision that the majority of residents answered in all the surveys. The words ‘small town atmosphere with a vibrant downtown’ are stated time after time.

All we are getting in this draft OCP is a land-use plan for Parksville that gives us way too much commercial and way too much multi-residential and will give us way too many little lots, with little boxes.

Again, now is the time to speak out. Once these changes are imbedded in the OCP, it will be very hard to stop the development. That is what happened to allow The Beach Club.

Residents did not speak up when the OCP was changed to allow it.

When they tried at rezoning, it was too late.

Please don’t be late again.

Elaine Hofer

Parksville