Public Hearing for Arden Corridor Local Area Plan
November 5, 2013
The Arden Corridor Local Area Plan (LAP) process is in its final stages, and the City of Courtenay is looking for feedback. The public is invited to share their views at a public hearing on Monday, December 2 at 5 pm in Courtenay City Hall Council Chambers.
Courtenay Council passed first and second reading of the Arden Corridor LAP Bylaw on November 4. If approved by Council, the plan would be incorporated into the City’s Official Community Plan, possibly by the end of December. The Arden LAP is designed to provide guidance on land use in that area over time and help shape future growth on the western boundary of the City.
The process began approximately 18 months ago in response to development interest in the area. The Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy shows the area’s potential for future annexation into the City of Courtenay from the Comox Valley Regional District Areas A and C.
A comprehensive consultation approach invited the public to attend a series of meetings and workshops in 2012. Citizens from the local area and beyond were also invited to complete a questionnaire. City staff were pleased with the response, with over 150 participants sharing their views.
“This local area plan was initiated in part at the request of the community. Staff and Council have been very sensitive to the ownership and pride that the residents in the area have for their neighbourhood,” said Nancy Hofer, the City’s environmental planner. “We aimed to provide multiple points of feedback.”
The Arden LAP incorporates a new user-friendly format, with numerous illustrations to help communicate abstract policy concepts.
“It’s a highly visual and informative document, and the intent is for residents to use the plan and steward it over time,” advised Hofer. “We know that in order for such plans to be effective, the community must be able to take ownership of them.”
Local area plans are a commonly used tool to implement neighbourhood-specific land use goals, guided by community input. In the Arden area, which is primarily residential, the plan designates appropriate land uses, including varying densities and parks. It also includes the preservation of character as a guiding policy, identifies mobility issues including a conceptual trail network, provides stormwater servicing guidelines, and describes how the identification and treatment of environmentally sensitive areas would occur. The boundaries include both sides of Arden Road from the Comox Valley Parkway to approximately Bood Road.
For more information on the plan, including copies of the bylaw and the comprehensive illustrated reference plan, visit www.courtenay.ca . Residents are also welcome to attend the public hearing or provide their comments in writing prior to the public hearing.