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Chilliwack city hall wants OCP feedback

An estimated 50,000 more residents and 25,000 more homes will be in Chilliwack by the year 2040, a projected growth that will require more jobs, more infrastructure and significant planning.

City hall is looking for feedback on the recently completed draft of its 2040 official community plan (OCP), the document that will help to guide the future of Chilliwack.

The draft OCP will be presented to the public at two public meetings early next month. There are also a number of ways to interact with city hall on the long-term plans online.

In October 2012, the city began its comprehensive review of the 1998 OCP, having reached the 85,000 population trigger point set at that time.

As part of the updated draft OCP, five growth scenarios were analyzed by staff. All include growth in the main urban corridor and existing hillside development areas.

Three further scenarios also considered development in the Ryder Lake hillsides, which have been seen as a long-term development reserve. Analysis by staff and a consultant, however, have determined that Ryder Lake development potential may not be as practical as was once thought.

High cost estimates for servicing together with the city’s experiences with the Eastern Hillsides have led to the conclusion that “this area should be maintained as an urban reserve for the longer term,” according to Karen Stanton, manager of long-range planning who has spearheaded the OCP review.

Because of the unlikelihood that comprehensive development will happen in Ryder Lake any time soon, along with the challenges in other hillside development and Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) constraints, means the city will see increasing densification of the urban corridor.

What exactly this looks like should be of interest to anyone who cares how Chilliwack develops over the coming decades.

“Anyone who is purchasing property should understand what they can do on their property and the long-term vision,” Stanton told council during a presentation on March 4.

The city’s draft OCP can be found online at www.chilliwack.com/ocp, along with links to ways to give feedback.

Two public meetings are scheduled to present the plan to the public: April 8 in council chambers at 8550 Young Rd., 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.; and April 10 at the Sardis Library, 5891 Tyson Rd., 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.

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