Montrose council is giving residents the heads up that a plan to revise the village’s Official Community Plan, or OCP for short, is now underway.
Furthermore, next month, anyone living in the bedroom community will be asked to take part in the first steps toward renewing the OCP, which hasn’t been done for the past 12 years.
So the question is, ‘Why should Montrose citizens consider taking part in this process?’
In a nutshell, an Official Community Plan will guide critical judgment calls the municipality may be faced with down the road.
Like how tax dollars will best be put to work over the next 20 years, and who may, or may not, be permitted to build in the town proper.
“The Official Community Plan is important because it gives council, and the village, a template of how to make decisions and why we make decisions,” explained Montrose Coun. Rory Steep.
“And it keeps us focused on where we want to get to,” he said. “The whole point of this is that there are going to be a number of engagements that we really want the community to be involved in. We are hoping they are going to see this is happening over the coming months and want to have their voices heard.”
After sending out a Request for Proposals in early fall, council and staff reviewed the submissions last month and ultimately chose a consulting firm called CTQ as the best fit to lead the way and guide all public consultations.
The kick-off will be a public open house on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Montrose Community Hall.
This session is open to all Montrose residents and council encourages everyone to attend, or to participate in the surveys that will be soon be available.
“The OCP is longer term and needs to be reviewed occasionally to make sure we are still in line with what the priorities for the village are,” Steep said. “And it’s important because it’s not just council saying this is how we want the village to run. When the OCP is done, it will tell us where we want to go and where the community wants us to focus, all rolled into one.”
The village says public consultation opportunities will be taking place over the next several months and residents will be kept informed as these occasions arise.
“We would like to hear from all our residents,” Montrose council stated in a news brief. “This will be your opportunity to help shape our village’s future and improve the quality of life for everyone.”
The OCP reflects a vision for future land use and development, housing, the natural environment, services, sustainability, and other Montrose-centric objectives.
CTQ, which stands for Cost, Time, and Quality, is a Kelowna-based consulting company specializing in engineering, planning, and urban design.
Another municipality, the City of Trail, is also in the process of updating its OCP after holding public sessions and posting an online survey last fall.
“The city’s review of the Official Community Plan is proceeding and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020,” administrator David Perehudoff said.
There were a number of meetings and community comments obtained several months ago, and most recently, the consultant met with the school board. Meetings with other key organizations like the regional district and Interior Health are currently being arranged.
“The consultant is also finalizing a background report that will be presented to the city in late January or early February, after which time it will be presented to council at a public meeting,” Perehudoff explained.
“Following receipt of the report mentioned, the city will seek to keep the public apprised as the OCP process continues, which will lead up to public hearings when the OCP Bylaw is finally presented to council for consideration.”