Input sought for three significant municipal plans
It’s a first for West Kelowna and its residents.
Locals will get a chance to review, ask questions about and give their input on three major municipal plans all at one time and in one venue.
The district will present drafts June 16 of its Westbank Centre Revitalization Plan, its Waterfront Plan and its Agriculture Plan at Royal LePage Place.
According to West Kelowna planning director Nancy Henderson, the event is the first time the municipality has presented three major community initiatives at the same public meeting, but it is hoped there will be strength in numbers.
Henderson said staff hope that people who may come out to a meeting for one of the plans will also familiarize themselves with the others and give their opinions about those plans as well.
That will not only help staff as they prepare to take the plans back to council for approval, she said, but also the input gathered will help their community as well.
“It’s a little unusual to be doing this but we realize we have had a lot of plans out there for the public of late and we wanted to try to save some time,” said Henderson.
The fledgling municipality currently has 14 major plans in various stages of completion on the go, a task Henderson admits is “ambitious.”
But she said as a fairly new municipality, each of the plans is important for community development.
Usually a municipality the size of West Kelowna would likely have three of four underway in a given year, spread out over several departments. This week, with the in-depth information that will be on display for all three plans, they will be able to talk and ask questions of district staff and consultants who worked on the planning efforts as well.
People will also be asked to fill out questionnaires, either at the Royal LePage Place or at home on the Internet, to give further input.
Responses to the questionnaire will help staff with the agricultural and the Westbank Centre plans, both of which are in the final draft stages before being presented to council.
This meeting will be the final public consultation for both, following extensive consultation in the past.
The Westbank plan included a charter, an interactive design process, and intensive workshops that involved stakeholder consultation as part of its development.
“But the more feedback, the better,” said Henderson.
The waterfront plan is still in early stages so public input can still have an impact, she added.
In a bid to make the event as community friendly as possible, the district will have a barbecue going on outside Royal LePage Place, as well as colouring tables for kids and live music. Inside it will be more business-like. “We are hoping people will hang around afterwards and talk with their neighbours,” said Henderson.
The open house is scheduled to run from 3 to 7 p.m.
The three plans will be used to help shape the short, medium and long-term goals of the district for three of the biggest issues in the municipality, the future of its town centre, one of its biggest attractions and one of its biggest industries.