South Cariboo OCP will be updated

Forest Grove and area residents asked for input on Area H’s future

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) invited residents throughout Area H to attend a meeting at the Forest Grove Community Hall to gather information and ideas towards updating the South Cariboo Official Community Plan (OCP) on Feb. 11.

The existing OCP was adopted in 1996 and it needs updating.

Several note boards were set up, and residents were asked to consider what they would like to see in the future – the date chosen was set at Feb. 1, 2036.

The note boards included: South Cariboo area priorities; planning the future; and what matters the most. There was a community mapping station, where ideas and concerns could be added.

There are four stages to the OCP rewrite process.

September to December 2015 was the start-up phase, and January to March 2016 is set aside for issue identification and awareness stage. April to June will see the building of a community plan, which should be finalized by July/August.

Areas covered include seasonal residences as well as tourism, climate changes, an aging and shrinking population, water, industry, local transportation, as well as agriculture and forestry.

Speaker Graham Farstad led a team of planning consultants and environmental specialist Peter Sanders encouraged those attending to put forward thoughts on what should be considered and included in the new OCP.

Hearty discussions ensued before and after the short presentation, with questions asked and answered, as well as a number of suggestions made to be considered for the ongoing process.

For those who were unable to be present at the meeting, a survey is available for input in paper form at various locations in Forest Grove, as well as at the CRD offices in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake or online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SouthCaribooAreaOCP until the end of March. It takes about five minutes to complete the online survey.

Updates, as well as a link to the survey are available on the CRD website (www.cariboord.ca) by clicking on the “South Cariboo Area – Official Community Plan Update” link (top right corner).

Doris E Rufli is the Forest Grove correspondent.