The Area 'H' Village Planning Project Advisory Group met regularly throughout the project to confirm and prioritize local issues, act as information sources for both the community as a whole and staff, and help to guide the village plan preparation process. Many interested volunteers, including residents, landowners, and stakeholders participated in the Advisory Group.
Advisory Group Meetings to Date:
Revising the Draft Bowser Village Plan - September to December 2009
Following initial input from the Advisory Group and comments received at the October 28th Open House the Draft Bowser Village Centre Plan was revised.Preparing a Draft Bowser Village Plan - July-August 2009
At the last Advisory Group meeting prior to the summer break it was agreed that RDN staff would proceed with putting together a draft plan for the Advisory Group to review in the fall. Concern was expressed that more work is needed on the location and designation of various land uses that resulted from the charette and it was agreed that more work could be done on this in the fall.
Bowser Village Charette - June 8-9th 2009
During the course of two days on the 8th and 9th of June 2009, over fifty two members of the Advisory Group and Bowser residents worked alongside twenty designers/landscape architects and planners to capture the community's vision of what Bowser Village Centre would look like if it was planned and developed based on the community's Sustainability Principles and Goals. Charette participants produced a range of ideas of their vision for Bowser that was captured visually on maps and sketches.Ideas included:
Open House - June 17th 2009
The outcome of the Charette was presented by members of the Advisory Group and RDN staff at an Open House on June 17th. Also presented were three land use options 'bubble diagrams' that RDN staff put together based on the work done during the charette. Over 75 people attended the Open House of which 47 were community members who do not usually attend Advisory Group Meetings.
Bowser Village Boundary Review - March - May 2009
Following the decision to focus on Bowser, the Advisory Group developed a variety of alternatives for the boundary of the Bowser Village Centre. These alternatives were displayed at an Information Event on April 29th. During meetings on May 13th and 27th the Advisory Group debated the pros and cons of expanding Bowser Village Centre in a variety of directions based on concerns about having sufficient land allocated for future commercial, public and residential uses. This resulted in a decision to put forward a revised boundary for consideration for Bowser Village Centre (see image below). The proposed addition extends the current lands within the Bowser Village Boundary to include approximately 95 acres (38.5 ha) of adjacent lands to the West along Crosley Road. The proposed boundary revision was used as the focus area during a 'Charette' (Design Workshop) on June 8th and 9th. It was acknowledged that following the Charette the boundary may be revised further.
Information Event - April 29th - Exploring Issues and Opportunities
From January 2009 onwards, the Advisory Group started to gather information on a variety of issues and opportunities impacting the planning process such as water quality and quantity. The need to quickly find out more about a range of issues and opportunities that affect planning for a sustainable Bowser Village Centre resulted in the April 29th Information Event attended by 67 members of the Community including Advisory Group Members. Information booths staffed by 26 RDN staff and other agencies provided members of the Advisory Group and the wider Community with an opportunity to have one on one discussions about a range of topics including.
- Village Planning Project - Process, Sustainability Principles and Goals
- Potential Bowser Village Scenarios
- Land Use patterns under existing Zoning
- Regional Growth Strategy Review
- Children's Ideas for Bowser Village
- Sensitive Ecosystems
- Green House Gas Reduction Strategies (Presentation at 4:00 pm)
- Recreation, Parks & Trails (Presentation at 5:00 pm)
- Transportation Networks & Mobility
- Crime and Safety Strategies for Rural Villages(Presentation at 5:30 pm)
- Meeting Housing Needs - Affordable & Adaptive (Presentation at 6:00 pm)
- Wastewater options for Rural Villages (Presentation at 7:00 pm)
- Solid Waste options for Rural Villages
- Water - Quality, Quantity & Aquifer protection
- Rain & Storm Water Management
- Planning Strategies for Disaster Resilience
- Sustainable Rural Economic Development
Focus on Bowser - March 2009
In early March 2009, the Village Planning Advisory Group decided to focus planning efforts on Bowser Village Centre. Choosing Bowser as the first village area to be addressed was regarded as an effective way of making use of time and resources between March and fall 2009. It is anticipated that the lessons learned from planning for Bowser can be applied when planning for other village areas within Electoral Area 'H' and the RDN as a whole.April 2008 - February 2009
Developing Sustainability Principles & Goals Between the Advisory Group's first meeting in November 2008 and February 2009, draft Sustainability Principles and Goals were developed for the project. A Summary of 2008 Project Activities/Outcomes & January 2009 Work Program.
It was another well attended event, with 36 attendees in addition to RDN staff. The event was led by two special guest facilitators, Ms. Angela Evans from the Fraser Basin Council (Smart Planning for Communities) and Ms Su Hallatt, CitizenPlan (planning consultancy).
The purpose of the workshop was to work together to establish a set of sustainability principles that could help to guide the project. It was the first opportunity in this project for residents to come together and share ideas and perspectives on their community and what a more sustainable future could be about. [ Click Here ] to view the ideas generated at the workshop.
Initial feedback from those who participated indicated that they enjoyed the workshop, and that it gave them much to think about in the coming weeks and months. The Project Advisory Group will be working with the results of the workshop to help finalize a set of principles for the project.
Thanks to the more than one hundred Area 'H' citizens who took time from their busy days to attend the open house at the Lighthouse Community Centre on Monday, September 15, 2008 from 4 to 9 p.m. The open house was hosted by the Regional District of Nanaimo to provide an overview of the project and to encourage the community to participate. RDN staff Ginny Cosgrove (Senior Planner) and Elaine Leung (Planner) were in attendance as well as Area 'H' Director Dave Bartram.
The open house displays helped to provide an overview of the project and how citizens could get involved.
Later in the evening, Ginny Cosgrove gave a brief overview of the project and how Area 'H' citizens can be involved. After the presentation by Ms. Cosgrove, the floor was open to questions and comments from the audience, and Director Bartram facilitated the discussion.
A range of topics were touched on through comments, questions and responses, including why village planning is needed, how village planning might impact people living outside of the village centres, whether village planning will lead to building regulations, or other regulations, or increased costs, what is meant by sustainability, how the Committee is being set up, and public transport needs.
In response to some of the discussion and questions raised, this project website has been set up with a Questions & Answers page.
[ Click here ] to view the Q & A page.
From an RDN perspective, the overall result of the open house and discussions was encouraging as many residents expressed their interest in becoming involved in the project. An important message is to stay involved and to participate. [ Click Here ] to find out how.
An open house was held on Monday June 9th, and interested residents, landowners and business owners were invited to participate in a survey.
The results from the open house and the survey were used to help staff prepare a Terms of Reference for approval by the RDN Planning Committee over the summer months.
Public Consultation & Feedback to Date:
The purpose of the open house was to:
To view the open house displays, [ Click Here ].
- Provide information on the Regional Growth Strategy and the Electoral Area 'H' Official Community Plan direction for the village centres and village planning in Area H;
- To provide information on recent Regional District of Nanaimo initiatives that are trying to address concerns about sustainability;
- To provide an opportunity for the community to comment on the village centres areas and village planning, including guiding principles for village planning in Area 'H', planning issues and opportunities, and who needs to be involved in village planning;
- To encourage the community to participate in a questionnaire to share their views. The information collected through the open house and the questionnaire will be used to help understand the scope of planning issues and opportunities that could be addressed through the Area H Village Planning project.
Thirty-six (36) individuals signed-in, but we estimate the total number attendees to be higher (40-50). RDN representatives in attendance included Ginny Cosgrove (RDN Senior Planner), Stephen Boogaards (RDN Planner), Geoff Garbutt (RDN Manager, Current Planning) and Area H Director Dave Bartram.
A key purpose of the open house was to provide community members with the opportunity to comment on the village centres areas, village planning opportunities and issues, and what is important to them. The RDN was also interested in understanding what types of consultation/participation methods work best for people.
There were sheets on the walls for people at the open house to share their thoughts and ideas on the following questions:
[ Click Here ] to view answers provided by some who attended the open house (comments have not been edited)
- What has been happening in Area 'H' since the OCP Review in 2004 ?
- What kinds of things do you are important to think about as we begin to look at planning for village centres in Area 'H' ?
- Should we, at the beginning of the project, have a set of sustainability principles that village planning would need to address? Could we use the Area 'H' OCP Community Values Statement, the RDN's Strategic Plan vision and the Regional Growth Strategy Goals as a basis for developing these principles?
- Are there planning opportunities or issues that relate to all three village centres ?
- Are there planning opportunities or issues that relate to a particular village centre area or surrounding area ?
- Are there thoughts or questions about the location, size, or boundaries of any of the village centres ?
- The OCP directed that "Village Centre Plans" be created. On first read, this would imply a plan that only covers the area of a Village Centre. However, some village centres, such as the Bowser village centre area, are surrounded by residential neighbourhoods…Is there a need or a desire to prepare a "village plan" which provides a more complete picture of a Village, it's centre and it's relationship to the surrounding area ?
- Who needs to be involved in village planning ? (e.g. specific groups, clubs, business associations, others)
- How should the RDN communicate with you about this project ?
Thanks to all of you who shared your ideas on these boards.
In addition to the open house feedback, interested residents, landowners and business owners were invited to participate in a survey.
The RDN requested feedback via the questionnaire until June 30, 2008 to give staff the ability to prepare a work program (Terms of Reference) for approval by the RDN Planning Committee over the summer months.
Respondents came from the geographical areas of Dunsmuir, Qualicum Bay, Bowser and Deep Bay and provided a range of perspectives. Feedback summary:
This information will be made available to the community at large, will form part of the background information for the project, and will be taken into account in the drafting of the project Terms of Reference.
[ Click here ] if you would like to see a more detailed summary of the feedback
[ Click here ] if you would like to read detailed responses to each question & staff's scoping exercise