OUT ON A LIMB: Community plan not worth paper it’s written on

It’s looking like it’s been kind of a big, fat waste of time

So, the mayor wants to re-open the Sustainable Official Community Plan (OCP). This would make this official community plan anything but sustainable.

Oh, all you members of the public who made the effort to develop, comment on and contribute to the official community plan, thanks for wasting your time.

It would be appropriate at this juncture to point out that we’re not surprised by this because the mayor has shown he’s not shy about challenging anything about the status quo.

But the scenario here is that the official community plan has rarely been worth the paper it’s written on. It seemed like past practice has been that in order to get a variance to the OCP, all you had to do was apply to council for it and you got it. Which contradicts what an OCP is about. It’s supposed to be a document by which development of the city can be conducted according to rules that we could see and follow. But I couldn’t count the number of times it seemed that variances were approved by appealing to council. What’s the point of having it then? I guess it means that it forces every proposal to be evaluated on on its own merits.

But the OCP is supposed to dictate where and how things are supposed to be placed within the city. Which is what the mayor has a problem with.

He has demonstrated in the past that he thinks developers should be able to put anything they want, anywhere they want and the city should be doing everything it can to allow it.

So I’m in a bit of a dilemma here, I have to defend a document that has about as much sustainability as a city councillor’s hand in the air. Because at least we can stand on the moral ground that it’s supposed to dictate orderly development of the community.

But this OCP was rushed through to meet a deadline so the city could get a rebate on money put into it. At the time nobody seemed to like it anyway. It’s looking like it’s been kind of a big, fat waste of time. Again.

Meanwhile…I’m a huge fan of the Olympics as you may or may not know and I’m sure proud of our athletes. I watched Black Creek’s Cam Levins matching the world’s best 10,000 metre runners stride for stride and finishing 11th. That’s a great result. There he was staying with the frontrunners who only managed to stretch their lead in the last few hundred metres. All Olympians are from some little town, village or neighbourhood somewhere but it was sure cool to see a fella from little old Black Creek running around Olympic stadium and looking like he belonged there.

I also loved the Canadian women’s football team (yes, football) striking fear into the hearts of the much-vaunted U.S. team. What a great game on Monday and what a gutsy effort.

Did us proud.

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