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

Just Posted

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

Crown seeking 30 months for Abbotsford vehicle theft, flight from police, Chilliwack crash

Michael Joseph Hasell has 47 criminal convictions on his record in B.C. and Alberta

Harrison Festival releases 2019 line up

The 41st annual Harrison Festival of the Arts will be held from July 12 to 21

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Rainfall warning: Up to 70 mm expected across Fraser Valley

Environment Canada issued a weather warning heading into the long weekend

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Vaisakhi parade to fill Surrey streets Saturday: Everything you need to know

More than 500,000 people expected for one of the world’s largest Vaisakhi-related events

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

TSB makes two safety advisories in probe of B.C. train derailment that killed three

The CP Rail train went off the tracks near the B.C.-Alberta border in February

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Man in hospital after crash involving parked car in Vancouver

It is unclear what led to the collision involving a black Acura and a parked Land Rover

5 to start your day

Police identify victim in Vancouver shooting, Trans Mountain pipeline decision extended and more

Most Read