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Feedback wanted on Oyster Bay - Buttle Lake Official Community Plan

Strathcona Regional District working on first OCP update since 1996 for Area D
Oyster Bay Shoreline Park in Strathcona Regional District’s Area D. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

For the first time since 1996, the Oyster Bay - Buttle Lake community in the Strathcona Regional District will be getting an updated Official Community Plan. .

An SRD release says that the OCP is being updated to reflect the needs of the community, and to address modern challenges. In the current document, approved in 1996, the community vision is to “live in a low density, rural settlement offering an alternative to city life, with areas of open and green space close by.”

The SRD is asking residents of Area D to submit feedback through an online survey to “ensure the OCP reflects the ideas and input of the people who live and work in Area ‘D’ and speaks to the unique context of local concerns.”

Topics include:

  • Settlement Patterns and Housing Options,
  • Commercial and Industrial Land Uses,
  • Watersheds, Forestry, and Wilderness Recreation,
  • Agriculture,
  • Environmentally Sensitive Areas,
  • Coastal Planning – storm surge, sea-level rise and coastal shoreline protection,
  • Parks and Greenways,
  • Servicing, and
  • Transportation

“The community did collaborate on a new one back in 2017, that for unknown reasons, it never made it to the board to actually get approved,” said Area D director John Rice. “Let’s bring that 2017 draft back and update it,and then let’s go back to the public and consult and see what they would like to see for changes.”

Having the framework in place helps streamline the process, because most of the work has been done. However, Rice said that in the past few years, demographic changes in the region could have an effect on what the community wants out of its community vision document.

“We do want to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to give updated comment, and hopefully we’ll have a new OCP before the end of the year.”

In the years since 1996 housing prices have risen and many people in the region are feeling the squeeze of an increased cost of living. Director John Rice was elected after running on a platform that included updating the OCP.

”It hasn’t really captured the feeling of the community and what they would like to see,” he said.

In addition to the survey, there will be a Community Review event, the date and location of which will be determined soon.

The survey is open until Aug. 25 and is available online here.

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