Changes on the horizon for Fernie’s Official Community Plan

Over the next year, the City of Fernie will be making some changes to the Official Community Plan.

Fernie’s Official Community Plan (OCP) is receiving an update. Over the next year, the OCP will go through a revision process to make sure the community of Fernie continues to be a great place to live, work, and play.

Working on the update with City of Fernie staff will be the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, a non-profit organisation that provides community sustainability planning and implementation services to local governments across B.C. Also giving their input will be the OCP advisory committee. The 15-person committee is made up of a wide spectrum of Fernie residents, two city councillors, as well as the Mayor of Fernie, Mary Giuliano.

Having met once since forming in August, the advisory committee will come together five more times, between now and November 2013, to rewrite the OCP. The committee is tasked with reviewing the existing OCP and making any changes they feel are necessary. Committee member, Councillor Willard Ripley, said the first meeting focused on outlining what the initial steps are and how the process will work. “It was more about how it’s going to be done, rather than discussing the actual items. This is where things are going to start to take off, addressing things like land use and planning issues.”

The revised OCP will aim to put the City’s new long term vision, “Forever Fernie,’ in motion. It will take into account a number of community components that work towards success and long-term sustainability for Fernie, including land use and development, education, housing, social development, economy, transportation, natural areas, and infrastructure.

The City of Fernie will be hosting an open house at the beginning of October to give the public the chance to see what the OCP is all about, and give their feedback. “These public input sessions are super important,” said Ripley. “That’s the people in town’s opportunity to have their say and see what kind of things have been suggested.”

October’s open house is just one of four public events that will be put on throughout the update process allowing Fernie residents to voice their opinions.

The OCP Open House will be held on October 4, from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., at the Fernie Community Centre. More details on the OCP can be found at www.fernie.ca.

 

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