New OCP adopted in Kent

Council votes unanimously following lengthy public consultation process

After more than a year and a half of public consultation and planning, there is a new Official Community Plan in the District of Kent.

The new plan was adopted at Monday night’s council meeting, with a few amendments that evolved from the final public hearing held on June 24 at the Friendship House.

The new OCP now does contain “stronger language in regards to the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge,” stated Darcey Kohuch, director of development services. Specifically, he said that the district would like to speak with the Ministry of Transportation about the possibility of a four lane bridge.

The new OCP states: “Considering that serious traffic accidents continue to occur on the Rosedale-Agassiz bridge, as well as lack of capacity and considerable safety concerns, the District shall continue to work with the province and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure so they may provide the necessary funding and a short and long term implementation plan” for bike and pedestrian lanes that are separate from vehicle lanes. It also mentions relocating the lights to safer locations and eventually replacing the entire bridge.

The new OCP also places more emphasis on the troubles along Rockwell Drive, in particular the need for that area to have an evacuation route. Many of the changes were a direct result of the latest consultations with the public, including the mention of a helipad potentially being placed at the breakwater along Rockwell Drive, to minimize the time patients are in transit after accidents in Sasquatch Park or along Rockwell Drive.

There was a change to map which incorrectly portrayed a trail, along with a handful of minor amendments and housekeeping changes.

“Some language had to be changed to be more accurate,” Kohuch said.

They also beefed up language that would support more home based businesses, and to allow for additional dwellings on ALR if a need is demonstrated,

Mayor John Van Laerhoven acknowledged the lengthy process of the OCP.

“It took well over a year and a half,” he said, calling it a “difficult process.”

“We need a plan that addresses the wishes of the community as a whole rather than individuals,” he added.

Councillor Duane Post noted that some of the concerns were not addressed, including the potential for growth in the Morrow Road area.

“I imagine it would be hard to look out the window one day and see a four story townhouse,” he said. “But there’s a balance between trying to grow and trying to save farmland.”

Councillor Holger Schwichtenberg agreed that the process was long, and many people participated, but lamented that not enough businesses participated.

“People were given ample opportunity to express their opinions,” he said. “One of the biggest disappointments I had was the response from local businesses.”

He said that while he’s sure the OCP won’t please everyone, there will be a chance to redo it all over again in the future.

An OCP is usually written every 10 years and makes plans for community development over the next 40 years.

news@ahobserver.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTERS: Speak up for our seniors in long-term care

Jan Coates of Agassiz believes in the power of your voice

Harrison officials carefully monitoring E.coli levels in lagoon

Levels testing unusually high for this time of year, officials say

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Most Read