City introduces updated Official Community Plan

More than two years in the making, Salmon Arm’s new official community plan received first reading from city council last week.

More than two years in the making, Salmon Arm’s new official community plan received first reading from city council last week.

Development services director Corey Paiement recommended that council not make any changes to the proposed OCP at this stage, noting that first reading allows for the formal referral process, through which the plan will be sent out to various government agencies, First Nations and other organizations for feedback – a requirement of the Local Government Act.

The process allows 30 days for comment, running until July 15.

Paiement said that overall, the new plan shares the general policy direction of the current OCP, but with some updates and fine tuning. However, he did make note of new recommendations in the proposed OCP that are of public interest.

One of these is changes to the urban containment boundary. The new plan supports the boundary’s expansion for low-density residential development in the upper Lakeshore area and Hillcrest. Most of this land, Paiement said, is in the Agricultural Land Reserve and would require approval of the Agricultural Land Commission.

The new OCP also recommends the city conduct a Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory or Environmentally Sensitive Areas study for the entire city.

City staff and a consultant will make recommendations to council at second reading. Paiement  expects this will occur in August, with an open house in September.