The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is well underway in the process to update the Lac la Hache Official Community Plan (OCP).
The OCP Review team has learned a lot about the important issues and interests for the Lac la Hache area and its residents through a number of different engagement activities, including surveys, an open house and special events, according to CRD chair Al Richmond.
Graham Farstad is the principal with the Arlington Group, which is the lead consultant for the update, and he says having a booth at the recent Garlic Festival was a great venue for the consultants.
Noting they were looking for a venue that would attract the most people to provide and they hit gold at the festival.
“We gave out 50 surveys and some people took them home with them. We also got to talk to a lot of people and answer their questions, so that was great.”
Earlier this year, the CRD launched a process to update the Lac la Hache Area OCP and wanted to accomplish this through an open, transparent and inclusive process.
The existing plan was adopted in 1997 and many changes have taken place
over the past 20 years.
This guiding document will be updated to align community values and aspirations and support decision-making on significant community matters within the Lac la Hache area.
Some of the issues the updated OCP will address economic development, agriculture policy, shoreline management, environmental protection and climate change.
Noting economic development was definitely one of the key issues, Farstad says that wasn’t a surprise.
“There has been a loss of jobs in forestry and the like and people are really looking for economic development to revitalize the area, but they’re quite clearly saying that they want to keep the rural character of the area.
Community engagement has been the cornerstone of this OCP review. One of the key initiatives to engage and obtain input from residents at the beginning of the process was an online and paper survey which was open from February to mid-April and was completed by more than 60 residents.
Through the survey, the OCP Review team learned a lot about the top priorities for Lac la Hache residents.
For instance, more than 90 per cent of respondents see recreational opportunities in Lac la Hache as some of their favourite things about the area. In addition to using the lake for recreational activities, the overall health and water quality of Lac la Hache continues to be an important topic for residents.
Another issue shown to be of significance to the local community is highway safety.
Currently, a second community survey is being conducted for further insight on these important community topics and others like transportation, stores and services, development and housing.
The information gathered will be used to guide the policies in the updated OCP.
The survey can be completed online at cariboord.ca or paper versions are available at the CRD Offices in 100 Mile and Williams Lake.
The survey closes on Sept. 30 and people who complete the survey will be entered to win a camping barbecue.
For more information about the OCP Update process, please visit the CRD online at cariboord.ca or e-mail email@example.com or call the Development Services Department at 250-392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636.