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Public Consultation and Feedback

Electoral Area Planning Projects
Village Planning Project - Electoral Area 'H'

Bowser Village Centre Plan Adopted

The Bowser Village Centre Plan was adopted as an amendment to the Electoral Area 'H' Official Community Plan by the Regional District of Nanaimo Board on June 8th, 2010. The summary below represents a record of the public consultation and feedback received in the development of the Bowser Village Centre Plan.

Public Consultation and Feedback

Area 'H' Village Planning Project Advisory Group Meetings

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:

  • Mtg #1 - November 10, 2008, 7 - 9 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #2 - November 26, 2008, 7 - 9 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #3 - January 7, 2009, 7 - 9 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #4 - January 28, 2009, 7 - 9 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #5 - February 11, 2009, 7 - 9 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #6 - March 4, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #7 - March 25, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #8 - April 15, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #9 - May 13, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #10 - May 27, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #11 - June 10, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #12 - June 24, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #13 - September 16th, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #14 - October 15th, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
  • Mtg #15 - October 21st, 2009, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lighthouse Community Hall, Qualicum Bay
Please [ click here ] to see Advisory Group Meeting and Event Agendas, Summary Notes and other documents.

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.

Discussions & Meetings

No Advisory Group Meetings are scheduled during July and August 2009. However, members of the Advisory Group and residents wishing to continue discussions during the summer break (and after) are encouraged to join the online discussion forum set up by members of the Advisory Group areahvillageplanning@shaw.ca.

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:
  • Options for traffic calming and improved pedestrian access
  • Creating attractive 'gateways' or entrances to Bowser
  • Arranging land uses for housing, recreation/public space, transportation, retail and service land uses to create a more 'complete community'
  • Working with natural systems to develop eco-friendly infrastructure with ideas for 'green streets', rain gardens/catchment areas for enhanced rainwater management and pollution control.
  • Ideas for alternative waste treatment, water conservation, recycling and energy generation and conservation. This included exploring septic treatment options for multiple dwellings that produce water for irrigation, use of wood waste to generate energy, and positioning buildings and streets for solar gain.
[ Click Here ] to see a draft summary document of the Charette.

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 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.

Sustainability Principles Workshop

Thank you to all who attended the Sustainability Principles Workshop at the Lighthouse Community Hall on Monday, October 27, 2008.

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.

Village Planning Project begins with September 2008 open house, presentation

Village Planning Project begins with September 2008 open house 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.

Open House Survey & Table Sheets

To learn and improve on how information is communicated and to provide ongoing opportunities for ideas and feedback to be shared, a short survey was available at the open house, and table sheets with questions were provided for people to share their ideas... Thanks to those who responded!

Survey results

  • Most learned about the event through the PQ News and the Beacon Magazine;
  • Most found the information presented at the open house & during the presentation easy to understand and useful. Suggestions were made to have more maps available for people to take with them. Please note that the large aerial map used at the open house is now located in the project office at Eyes on BC at Magnolia Court in Bowser. We will try to have more maps as handouts in the future. If you would like to have a particular map in the meantime, give Ginny a call or drop by the project office on Fridays in Bowser [Click here] for more details on the Bowser Project Office.
  • Most found staff approachable and easy to talk to.
  • Most found it worthwhile attending.
  • A few folks chose to use the back side of the form to provide other comments. In regards to a comment regarding having access to the Official Community Plan locally, a copy of the OCP is available in the Area 'H' Village Planning Information Book at the Bowser Library. [ Click Here ] here to view other detailed responses provided. This information will also be included in the Area 'H' Village Planning Information Book at the Bowser Library.
Table Sheets
  • During this project, we will be using words like "sustainability", "sustainable community", "village", "village centre" and "village planning". At the open house, we asked folks what these words meant to them. We also had sheets at various tables with other questions to help generate discussion... [ Click Here ] to view responses.
This information will also be included in the Area 'H' Village Planning Information Book at the Bowser Library, and will help build upon the information collected in June 2008.

Community Input before the Project Gets Off the Ground; June 2008 Open House & Questionnaire:

Prior to developing a Terms of Reference (a work program), the RDN invited input from the community regarding the village centres areas and village planning in Area 'H', including its thoughts on planning issues, opportunities, guiding principles and who needs to be involved in village planning.

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:

June 9, 2008 Community Open House

A community open house was held on Monday, June 9, 2008 at the Lighthouse Community Centre from 3 to 8 pm. The purpose of the open house was to:
The purpose of the open house was to:
  • 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.
To view the open house displays, [ Click Here ].

June 9, 2008 Community Open House Results

Public Consultation & Feedback 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:

  • 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 ?
[ Click Here ] to view answers provided by some who attended the open house (comments have not been edited)

Thanks to all of you who shared your ideas on these boards.

June 2008 Community Questionnaire

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.

June 2008 Feedback Results

The questions asked in the survey were intended to help RDN staff better understand the scope of issues relating to village centres and village planning in Area 'H', from a community perspective. The RDN received 14 completed questionnaires, in addition to open house comments written on boards available to the 40-50 open house attendees.

Respondents came from the geographical areas of Dunsmuir, Qualicum Bay, Bowser and Deep Bay and provided a range of perspectives. Feedback summary:

  • changes in the community are being noticed, in terms of additional residential and population growth, particularly in the Bowser/Deep Bay areas;
  • support to develop a set of sustainability principles that would guide village planning, and the RDN Strategic Plan Vision Statement, the RGS Goals and the Electoral Area 'H' OCP Community Values Statement could be a good basis from which to derive these principles;
  • there are questions regarding the location, size or boundaries of the village centres;
  • support to prepare "village plan(s)", as opposed to "village centre plans", the difference being that village plan(s) would help to provide direction on the village centres and provide a better picture of how village centres relate to the surrounding context;
  • the scope of issues that are on the minds of residents include:
    • mobility (road safety, alternatives to car travel, including public transit, rail and walking & cycling connections),
    • the location and type of additional local commercial and tourist uses,
    • health & family services
    • infrastructure (e.g. water, sewer, storm water)
    • affordable housing & types of housing
    • the role of open space in village centres,
    • sustainability
    • environmental protection
    • sense of place, community identity & how much and what type of growth is desired
    • the future of the Dunsmuir, Qualicum Bay, Bowser and Deep Bay areas and the roles of each of these areas
    • financial implications
    • Everyone in the community should have the opportunity participate in this project, and efforts should be made to encourage groups that are typically under-represented;
  • A range of communication methods should be considered including, open houses, newsletters, e-mail, and advertisements through The Beacon.
Given the relatively few number of responses, it cannot be assumed that the results are representative of the community at large. However, those who did participate at the open house and/or through the questionnaire provided a range of ideas and comments, and together helped to identify a broad scope of ideas and issues related to village centres and village planning, similar to a brainstorming exercise.

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

Questions can be directed to:
RDN Strategic and Community Development Department

Email: planning@rdn.bc.ca
Phone: 250-390-6510
Toll Free: 1-877-607-4111
Fax: 250-390-7511
Mail to: Regional District of Nanaimo
Strategic and Community Development Department
6300 Hammond Bay Road
Nanaimo BC V9T 6N2