After two years of discussion the Official Community Plan maps out our future

City Planner John Guenther (right, standing) discusses the final changes to Revelstoke's Official Community Plan with Mayor David Raven (center) and City Councillors during a special Council meeting on Monday afternoon. After 2.5 hours of discussion Council passed the OCP, which was two years in the making. David F. Rooney photo
City Planner John Guenther (right, standing) discusses the final changes to Revelstoke's Official Community Plan with Mayor David Raven (center) and City Councillors during a special Council meeting on Monday afternoon. After 2.5 hours of discussion Council passed the OCP, which was two years in the making. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

After hundreds of hours of public meetings, information sessions and stakeholder consultations spread over two years, the fate of the City’s draft Official Community Plan (OCP) came down to 2.5 hours of discussion at the Council table and, ultimately, unanimous approval.

“I really have to compliment everyone involved in this, especially John ¬†(Guenther, the City’s relatively new planning director) and Laurie (Donato),” said Mayor Dave Raven. “It was left undone and they brought it to fruition. This sets the tone for the city for the future.”

The 80-page document, which is accompanied by numerous maps and a number of appendices (including a glossary to help citizens understand the acronyms, specialized terms and other jargon), outlines a communal vision for growth and development for the next 20 years.

“It’s truly a living document,” said Councillor Steve Bender.

That’s very true in many ways. Not only did the process see input from, as one might expect, ¬†businesses, various governmental agencies and other organizations, but from hundreds of ordinary citizens who took the time to attend meetings, explore the options available and speak out in public on issues of concern to them.

“I think it’s an excellent plan to work with,” said Councillor Peter Frew.

The OCP is divided into four parts.

Part One is the introduction. It discusses the role of the OCP in municipal government, how this one was created and the historical context for this type of document. It also defines who we are, where we live and our vision for the future as expressed in the City’s official vision statement.

Part Two focuses on Revelstoke’s future growth and development. This section discusses economic growth, Revelstoke Mountain Resort (which is key to the community’s future economic prosperity), population projections, trends and demographics, and housing in the community, including clear assessments of the resort’s impact on housing availability and housing costs.

Part Three peers into the future. It charts what can be expected for the people of Revelstoke, their health and wellness expectations, the availability of learning, cultural growth, predicted environmental changes, economic crystal ball gazing, land use shifts and developments in community infrastructure.

Part Four discusses the ways that this report can and should be implemented by existing and future municipal governments and Councils.

While the City already has posted the pre-final-review draft of the OCP on its website,¬†www.cityofrevelstoke.com the final version, which was given third and final reading at a special Council meeting on Monday afternoon, has not yet been posted. Keep checking the City’s website to read the final version of the OCP.