In less than three months after being sworn in, the newly elected mayor and council of North Saanich have already gained a clear picture of what the community wants in their new Official Community Plan (OCP) and are ready to take the process forward.
“The OCP was a contentious issue during the election and residents vocalized the need for a change in its direction,” said Mayor Peter Jones.
As such, Council stopped the process to take the time to better understand the areas of contention, review what had been done, and determine what community members wanted. After careful consideration and multiple meetings with residents, Council has been given a clear mandate to develop an OCP which maintains the rural oasis for which North Saanich is known.
“Part of moving forward is to ensure residents understand and are engaged in the process,” said Jones. “To that effect, I am introducing a new and different feedback loop with a reporting relationship directly to the mayor.”
Jones has established the Mayor OCP Advisory Committee (MOCPAC) and several sub committees, comprised of an equal number of councillors and residents.
As these committees will replace the Advisory Working Group (AWG), Mayor Jones will introduce a motion at the January 30 Regular Meeting of Council to disband the AWG. Additionally, he plans to introduce a motion that will see work on the OCP resumed. Staff review of the OCP will also play a large role in its development going forward.
“We are privileged to have committed residents with knowledge and expertise in several areas, including housing, agriculture, and climate sit on our committees. Many of them are already serving on various District of North Saanich Advisory Commissions. Additionally, our highly competent staff will be providing input,” said Jones. “Working together with council, staff and the community, I look forward to the creation of an OCP of which we can all be proud.”
Mayor Peter Jones