Nine open house meetings were held to gather public input for the official community plan.

Vision revision draws criticism

Council adopts official community plan after document panned in public hearing.

Twenty months in the making, Sicamous’ updated official community plan has received council’s approval despite public requests for further revision.

District council adopted the revised OCP at its Dec. 13 meeting, but not until after a public hearing. During the hearing, district planner Melinda Smyrl described the process that went into the revised “visionary” document’s creation. She said the review began in 2015, and was initiated because there was a sentiment in the community the former document no longer reflected current social/economic conditions or legislative changes made since 2009, when the previous version of the OCP was adopted. Smyrl said the review process included nine open houses/public input sessions. Overseeing the process was a committee comprised of staff, two councillors and several volunteer community members.

Most of the hearing consisted of residents criticizing the document and its intent.

Robert Banting asked council to table third reading of the OCP so that he and fellow Portside Court property owner could have an opportunity to provide input. He went on to suggest there is language in the OCP, particularly in relation to connectivity, that could bind council to the Bruhn Bridge replacement option that includes construction of a Main Street bridge.

Others echoed Banting’s request to table the document until later in the year, when there is more clarity on which bridge replacement option the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is going to pursue.

Resident Darlene Green also asked that the document be tabled, and then proceeded to pick it apart, stating it contains too many open-ended statements and is too broad in scope.

Resident Deb Heap, who chaired the OCP committee, said the committee had no knowledge of the proposed bridge replacement options during the revision process.

“Personally, I have an issue with tabling the OCP based on a bridge decision that is not part of this document,” said Heap.

Council approved final reading of the OCP, with Couns. Janna Simons and Colleen Anderson absent.