The public hearing, held on November 22, was attended by approximately 156 full-time residents. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Jaffray Area OCP does not proceed

Following the public hearing on the Jaffray Area Official Community Plan [OCP] and the amended South Country Zoning Bylaw, the RDEK Board of Directors has voted not to proceed with the adoption of the bylaws.

The public hearing, held on November 22, served as the final opportunity for the public to share its opinions on the OCP and Zoning Bylaw. It was attended by approximately 156 full-time residents. The majority of those who voiced their opinion were opposed to the proposal.

“We have said all along that we are here to listen,” said Electorial Area B Director Stan Doehle at a Board of Directors Meeting on December 1. “While I believe the plan presented was a good one, it is clear from the feedback we received leading up to, and during the hearing, the proposed bylaws were not supported.”

He admitted the process has been a challenging one, because of the many viewpoints and perspectives.

“Unfortunately, there have been deep divisions created,” said Doehle. “My goal in asking for the Board’s support to not adopt the bylaws is that this will be the first step in bringing people back together and allowing the community to heal.”

“I believe we are making the right decision to hold off on proceeding any further at this time,” he added.

The Jaffray area remains covered by the zoning regulations and land use policies contained in Bylaw No. 1414, which was adopted in 1999.

“I think it’s good, and obviously the majority of the community feel it’s quite good,” said Jaffray resident Bob Prowse in response to the OCP not proceeding.

“That said, it’s not that an OCP can’t be a very good and valuable tool within a community,” he added.

Prowse saw this plan marketed as something that would provide a snapshot or a vision of how the community wants to see development move forward.

“If you look at it in the context of that, it would’ve been a fantastic vehicle,” he said. “But this was a distortion of an OCP. It wasn’t a true OCP.”

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