Downtown Chilliwack revitalization is one of the priorities coming up in the OCP process

Downtown Chilliwack revitalization is one of the priorities coming up in the OCP process

Citizen input on OCP is ‘critical’ says Chilliwack councillor

The Official Community Plan review process Chilliwack is underway with participation from the public starting to trickle in.

Hey, Chilliwack, can we talk?

The year-long conversation about how the city should grow over the next few decades is starting to happen — albeit slowly.

The Official Community Plan review process initiated by City of Chilliwack has been underway for about a month, with participation from the public starting to trickle in.

Councillor Jason Lum has attended some of the OCP events so far, and he’s encouraged to see numbers on the rise.

“We would definitely like to see more participation.”

Lum said it’s important for the community to realize that this is their chance to shape the new OCP, arguably the city’s most important planning document, with their feedback.

“Now is the time to be proactive, and offer input to the city about priorities, which is more productive than being reactive down the line,” he said.

Residents can attend community meetings slated for three rural areas this week:  Yarrow Community Hall (Dec. 3), Greendale Fire Hall (Dec. 5) and Rosedale Community School (Dec. 6).

Getting ample feedback during this process is “critical” for city planners and council alike, Lum pointed out.

“Finding out what people think is important,” he said. “It’s illuminating. Plus there are many creative ways to participate.”

The real question residents should be ultimately asking themselves is what kind of neighbourhood they want to live in.

“What is the neighbourhood you dream of for your children, and what kind of city do you want to do business in?” Lum said.

He recommends simplifying the questions.

“The cool thing about this process is coming up with ideas,” the councillor said.

“This is just the beginning of the conversation we’re going to have with the community.”

Not everyone is going to necessarily agree on how or where the city should grow.

“There will be some similarities and some policies where everyone might agree but there are also some areas where they are going to differ. A stronger OCP will result.”

Two open house events held so far on the north and south sides of Chilliwack yielded some feedback for the city planning team, as have some of the online questions at PlaceSpeak.com site. Make sure to click the Chilliwack Official Community Plan link.

At the open house sessions, residents were handed Chilliwack “bucks” and asked to allocate them to various municipal priorities and categories, asking where the bucks would go, if they were in council’s position with a mandate to allocate this money.

Roads (21) came out as the top priority for people who showed up at the Thursday session on the south side, followed by environmental protection (15), downtown neighborhood revitalization (14), economic development (13), recreation facilities (12), parks and trails (11), arts and culture (11), police and fire protection (9), transit (6), and public works (3).

At last Monday’s session in Evergreen Hall the priorities were somewhat different.

Not surprisingly ‘downtown neighborhood revitalization’ was the top priority for residents of Chilliwack’s north side with (20) shelling out the “bucks” for that category. Other priorities included: police and fire protection (16), economic development (16), arts and culture (15) roads (13) public works (12), parks and trails (11), transit (9), environmental protection (5), recreation facilities, and pulling up the rear, dikes (1).

The planning team has been reaching out to the community in different ways. In person, online, by email, live polling and more.

•    Fill out a community survey on the OCP review and the City’s Parks, Recreation,and Culture Strategic Master plan process

•    Enter the photo or video contest and vote for your favourite pics and videos on the notice board;

•    Attend a community event;

•    Join the online discussion at PlaceSpeak.com; or

•    Email the project team at planning@chilliwack.com.

They’ve launched a photo and video contest with prizes, and they’ve extended the deadline to Dec. 10. Just sign in at PlaceSpeak.com and upload the media files to the notice board. Photos and videos can also be sent to planning@chilliwack.com or brought into the office in person.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Ben Holwerda of the Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club competes in a swim meet at the Landing Leisure Centre on Feb. 12, 2011. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre to close temporarily for scheduled maintenance

Pools, steam room, and sauna at Landing Leisure Centre closing for maintenance July 19 to Sep. 4

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read