Public input on community-planning overwhelms city staff

Victoria city council extends deadline

After two months of gathering feedback on the official community plan, City of Victoria staff say they might have to ignore it to meet target deadlines – unless the deadline is extended

City council says it wiser to slow down the clock and incorporate some of the public’s wishes.

Between April 7 and June 10, city staff gathered feedback from more than 6,000 people at 57 events, such as meetings and workshops with different stakeholder groups including youth, First Nations and community associations. The total well surpassed the city’s target of 5,000.

Coun. Marianne Alto called the public engagement, reaching almost 10 per cent of the population, “extraordinary.”

People’s ideas on the draft document, which lays out the groundwork for growing the city over the coming decades, spanned the gamut.

“I think it’s fair to say the public is generally supportive of the draft plan … in terms of a strong downtown core and a network of town centres,” said senior planner Scott Cameron.

People did point out some areas they’d like to see added, however.

“People really wanted to see performance measures added to all the sections,” Cameron said. “A number of stakeholders indicated we needed more of an emphasis on the harbour and the role it plays in the city.”

City council passed Cameron’s recommended to push the adoption of the plan back to March 2012, rather than aiming for October 2011.

Coun. Geoff Young, however, delivered a warning from his experience as chair of the Capital Regional District.

People are loving the regional growth strategy to death, he said.

The problem, he said, “is as you make these things bigger and bigger, the possibility of making them truly real documents that have a place in people’s lives in the region becomes smaller and smaller”

Many public suggestions are important but don’t belong in the document, he said.

“We are quite frankly struggling,” he said, adding he sees the city’s official community plan drifting in the same direction.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UVic political scientist wants B.C. pulp mills to help produce masks, gowns

Claire Cutler says Canada needs to become self-sufficient when manufacturing PPE

Feeding ducks bread crumbs is a harmful habit

Wild Arc suggests to never feed wildlife in general

Greater Victoria Public Library offers new online resource service to cardholders

Friends of the Library provided funding for the service

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read