Penticton's official community plan due for an overhaul - InfoNews

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Penticton's official community plan due for an overhaul

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January 11, 2017 - 4:30 PM

PENTICTON - It’s time for the City of Penticton to update its official community plan.

Special projects manager Ben Johnson has outlined the plans to revamp the official community plan to a city council committee. The current plan was first adopted in 2002 and has been subjected to 90 amendments over the past 15 years.

Johnson said the present plan was out of date from an interpretive point of view. He said the city’s plans for growth and alignment with current legislative and environmental perspectives also needed to be reflected in an updated plan.

A previous council report identified $250,000 to be allocated from the 2017 budget to fund the update, which is anticipated to take 18 months to complete.

Johnson called for a four-phased approach, with visioning exercises to take place early this year, followed by drafting and refining of policies prior to presentation of a draft document in early 2018.

He advocated a comprehensive consultation process be undertaken, suggesting it be a guiding principle in completing the process, also recommending the creation of a 17-person task force made up of two council members and residents from a cross section of the community.

Coun. Judy Sentes called the update “long overdue,” but wondered if a 17-member task force might be “unwieldy,” while Coun. Max Picton wondered if the update shouldn’t be a bylaw requirement every five years.

Johnson said a bylaw requirement to update on a scheduled basis could prove to be unnecessary, as there would be no need to update the plan if it was still functional.

Council agreed unanimously to endorse the draft guiding principles as well as creation of a task force to update the official community plan.

Johnson said next steps will include creation of the task force and an initial round of community engagement.

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