In life, creating a plan is strategic to achieving goals. It’s the same for a community, which is why planning documents are essential. Community collaboration, building an Official Community Plan, creates a guide for Regional District planning & land-use management: bylaws enacted must be consistent with it.
An Official Community Plan (OCP) is a positive-focussed economic, social & environmental long-term vision created in consultation with the community. It’s intended as a living document to be updated approximately every ten years. Quadra Island’s OCP was released fifteen years ago in 2007. I think most of us can agree Quadra Island’s OCP is overdue for a dedicated, inclusive process of community-wide consultation and thoughtful revisions.
At over 10,000 square kilometres, Area C extends far beyond the shores of Quadra. Did you know the Outer Islands have no Official Community Plan? My visit with Read Island residents emphasized the urgent desire and need for this important planning process & document for the Outer Islands of Area C.
Right now Area C is in the home stretch of another planning process, an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP), underway since 2019. Currently, a few pandemic years from when the ICSP began, the Strathcona Regional District has struck a Task Force of community volunteers from Quadra and the Outer Islands. These volunteers are sharing their local knowledge and energy, collaborating on finalizing the ICSP. The Task Force is working with a consulting firm and is honing a complete draft for public consultation in November.
The ICSP is intended to establish community values, goals and priorities and guide future decision-making including Official Community Plans & Land-Use Bylaws. The research and work that is being put into the ICSP is an important part of how we can ensure effective OCP processes for the Outer Islands and Quadra Island.
Developing an OCP in consultation with the results of the ICSP will be an intensive community undertaking. Success will involve a demographically representative process with reliable, inclusive input methods that aren’t bound by in-person meetings. My focus will be on ensuring that not only is the final document a vision forward but that the process to get there is efficient and engaging for the entire community.
I encourage you to read Quadra’s Official Community Plan, I’ve got it linked on my Resources page, along with other interesting community-related documents.