The draft OCP, produced more than two years and costing taxpayers $400,000, has given us all a chance to have our say. From the first page through to page 136, it is an inspiring document that generates a warm feeling in my heart that the environment and climate change are being seriously addressed.
As with all such inspirational documents, the devil is in the details and the bylaws passed by elected officials.
As I waded through the OCP, phrases such as Exceptions, and Exercise Its Discretion, gave pause to my initial warm feeling.
These phrases will control our ability to achieve the overall OCP directives of greenspace preservation and climate change promises.
The first council motion on the document was to allow a 400 single-family home subdivision, against the advice of staff, consultants and the OCP advisory committee, with no public consultation. This gives pause to my warm feeling for the OCP greenspace preservation goal.
I observe that no matter what ends up in the OCP, the real test of our community’s commitment to addressing the climate emergency will be its attention to the greenhouse gas emissions problem.
The OCP has attempted to guide the community on a Climate First path. Attention is now required to deliver results as expeditiously as the town’s recent attention to development permit delays. Green and NetZero is noble but can we deliver?