By Laura Keil
Valemount’s official community plan is a 100-page document that outlines the future vision, priorities and laws about land use and Council priorities and was officially adopted by Council at their last meeting. This week, we offer the highlights of each OCP-defined zoning segment in the Village. Each one has distinct qualities and future priorities. Next week, we will delve into community-wide land use policies such as affordable housing, parks, transportation, traffic, environment and food security among others.
The current OCP was drafted after nearly a full year of consultation with the community. Previously updated in 2006, the new OCP addresses some significant challenges facing the village including:
• Increasingly unaffordable housing
• homeowner and development limitations due to out-of-date regulations
• limited pedestrian and transportation connectivity
• the lack of industrial and employment lands for job creation and economic diversification
• flat population growth
• minimal development and commercial investments
• and far-reaching infrastructure with a limited taxation base, which increases property taxes and utility fees per capita over time.
The OCP tackles these issues by increasing the flexibility and permissions within the land-use designations and zones. Valemount CAO Wayne Robinson says the policies in the OCP are not yet enacted as bylaws as yet—Council still needs to pass the updated Zoning Bylaw before many of these recommendations or policies are permitted. Mayor Owen Torgerson says he expects the Zoning Bylaw to come before Council soon and, given four readings and a public hearing, will likely be finalized within a couple months.
Goat Disclaimer: this overview does not represent a comprehensive list of priorities or rules about each zone, but a sampling of those we deemed important, interesting or different. Much of the text is from the OCP, but some of it has been edited for brevity. To view the entire OCP document visit valemount.ca on the OCP press release page.