Last year, Metro Vancouver adopted a new regional growth strategy. After a regional growth strategy has been adopted municipal governments must make sure that their official community plan (OCP) aligns with the regional plan. The Township of Langley is starting this process and has until July 29, 2013 to update its OCP. According to a staff report, the Township plans to do extensive public consultation which will be “consisting of 1,000 telephone interviews of randomly selected households in the Township.This will be followed by four focus group workshops, a staff workshop as well as a Council workshop to develop a vision, goals and objectives for the OCP. The draft plan, when prepared,will be reviewed through open houses and referrals to key organizations and stakeholders outlined in this report before being presented for Council’s consideration.”
One of the problem I find with some public consultation is that they happen to late in the process and basically only provide a place for people to get upset about the plan or project. I’m very happy to hear that the Township plans to engage its citizen early on in the process.
Another interesting change is that the OCP must now be viewed through the Township’s Sustainability Charter which should also have a profound affect on the future vision of the community. With the federal government abdicating responsibility for environmental protection, it will now be even more important for local government to pick up the slack. I feel that the Township of Langley now has the framework in place to be a sustainable community that will leave things in a better state for future generations and I look forward to seeing the updated OCP.