Editorial: Vision for the future

Official Community Plans seem to be a hot topic right now in the Okanagan

Official Community Plans seem to be a hot topic right now, at least for Penticton, Summerland and Peachland.

Penticton, of course, is in the midst of reviewing and updating it’s OCP. It’s the first time in 15 years an in-depth update has been done. In Summerland, the discussion isn’t so much about the OCP directly, as it is about a large-scale seniors development and competing visions of the community’s future.

Related: City to spend 18 months on new community plan

Peachland, which is also reviewing its OCP, is in a battle with a group of citizens over an attempt to amend the plan to allow for five-storey buildings along Beach Avenue, where the plan currently indicates three storeys as a maximum.

One side or another often try to hold up the community’s OCP as their argument for why something can’t be done. Much of the time, that comes from thinking about an OCP as some sort of binding, inflexible document laying out the rules. Unlike zoning bylaws, which specify the uses a piece of property can be put to — and can also be amended— an OCP all about setting out a vision for the future.

But over time, visions change. For example, It’s highly unlikely that back in 2002 when Penticton was developing the current OCP, planners had any clue of the changes the information revolution would bring to our communities.

The Local Government Act defines an OCP as “a statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management.”

That doesn’t mean those objectives can’t change. An OCP might list a property as future parkland, but 10 years on, that may no longer be an appropriate objective. In Peachland’s case, a three-storey designation doesn’t mean future councils are forever held to that.

The City of Penticton is in the process of collecting community input on the OCP. Given the long-term nature of these documents, it’s important that everyone takes part in that discussion, so the language in the final document is both flexible and truly represents the desires of the community.

Related: Shaping the future of Penticton

Just Posted

Penticton’s overdose death rate most likely tops Kelowna’s

Preliminary data released to the Western News show up to 20 died last year of overdose in Penticton

Gold for Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Kelowna tour stop for Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams to perform June 10 at Prospera Place

Penticton judge tosses child custody time-to-trial complaint

Though the judge sympathized with the need to speed up matters, he kept the proceedings on track

Stolen truck, resisting cops in Naramata nets 19 months

Derek John Ledgard, 24, will spend nearly 16 more months in jail after time served

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

Russian Bobsled Federation states a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave on Sunday was positive.

Indigenous leaders call for change after ‘system fails’ Tina Fontaine

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Atwal fiasco dogs Trudeau; PM pledges a ‘conversation’ with MP responsible

Trudeau is being peppered with questions about the lingering controversy

Germany upsets Canada in Olympic men’s hockey

Germany 4 Canada 3; Germans play OAR for gold; Canada and Czechs go for bronze

Evacuated cat finds his way home seven months after B.C. wildfires

‘He just decided he was going on a holiday — an extended holiday’

Most Read