Courtenay is asking for input to help shape its Official Community Plan.

The city has a number of community engagement sessions on tap to explore neighbourhood-specific ideas. 

A mix of in-person outdoor guided ‘walkshops’ and virtual online workshops are happening between Oct. 26th and Nov. 10th. 

Advance registration is required. The full schedule and online registration tools are available at: www.courtenay.ca/OCPupdate

Each ‘walkshop’ will be 90 minutes long for a maximum of 10 registrants, with on-site guidance from city staff. 

COVID-19 protocols will include mandatory masks and physical distancing. 

You’ll be encouraged to discuss what is important in your neighbourhood, with a focus on urban design considerations.

Virtual workshops will use the ZOOM platform. 

They’ll last two hours and will include a facilitated discussion of what is most valued in different areas of Courtenay, and what should be addressed as new development occurs. 

The city says moderators will use images to spark ideas and explore different urban design opportunities. 

A computer or mobile device, internet and audio equipment (speakers, and microphone in order to speak) are required to attend the virtual workshop. 

“We’ve heard a lot of great ideas from the community and a clear vision for Courtenay since we launched the OCP update earlier this year,” Mayor Bob Wells said. “It’s encouraging to see that the emerging OCP vision is consistent with recent city-wide master plans and the Regional Growth Strategy. Through these neighbourhood sessions we want to hear ideas from community members in the areas they are most familiar with.”

Community feedback will help inform design guidelines for new developments and improvements to roads, parks and city facilities. 

The sessions will also allow staff, consultants and council to understand what the emerging vision for Courtenay means on the ground in different areas.

The city says that to date the public engagement and technical review process for the OCP “has resulted in a vision that includes”:

  • net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050;
  • people at the core of community decisions with a focus on equity and reconciliation opportunities;
  • developing within existing urban centres and neighbourhoods for walkability and maximizing existing servicing;
  • more housing choices such as rentals, suites, townhomes and small apartments;
  • transportation investments that support walking, cycling and transit
  • strong neighbourhoods with unique character and identity;
  • more space for and time in nature as part of all neighbourhoods
  • productive community relationships with the City; and
  • economic recovery and success that is ecologically and socially responsible and emerges from our community’s values and sense of place.

The last significant update for the OCP was in 2005. 

The upcoming review is expected to carry the community forward over the next 10 years. 

Council will consider the plan for adoption by early 2021.

To learn more about and register for the neighbourhood sessions, sign up for the Courtenay OCP Update newsletter, and learn more about the process click here or call 250-703-4839.