“We are losing our stilt walkers,” muses Roberts Creek resident Andy Sloss. When Sloss thinks of how Roberts Creek has changed over the eight years he has lived here, he notes that the loss of the artists that lead the Higgledy-Piggledy parade is a powerful metaphor: “It’s amazing how much that parade encapsulates the community of Roberts Creek.”
Sloss has spent two years on the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan Committee (OCPC), an elected group of 11 volunteers who meet on a monthly basis to ensure that the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan (OCP) is being followed, that it remains current, and that it continues to meet the needs of the community members.
OCPs are fluid by nature. We recognize that the needs of Roberts Creekers are changing – the OCPC will change after next month’s elections to reflect these changes. “We have concerns about development, lack of affordable land and housing, about our changing demographics and the environment, and each of these has a direct effect on how the community changes,” Sloss notes. “Being on the OCPC is a way to mediate the change or at least become aware of the change, going forward.”
The opportunity to meet monthly with the local area director of the Sunshine Coast Regional District to discuss issues that affect Roberts Creek is unique – we are the only community in British Columbia with its own OCP committee. Meetings offer a great chance to have a say in your community. In this environment, members can communicate with regional planners and also serve as a liaison between community and planners. “The structure of the OCPC gives us a direct line into the SCRD,” Sloss points out.
OCPC elections will be held on Nov. 28 following the Roberts Creek Community Association’s monthly meeting at Roberts Creek Hall. This year, the community will elect seven new committee members for two-year terms.
“Community is not something that just is – it is an entity that exists because of participation,” Sloss says. “It’s a place for really good conversation and to engage community in the conversation. Because I was not raised here and because I am a homeowner, sitting on the OCPC has made me aware of some of the different voices in our community. It has allowed me to see where our commonalities are, and this is an incredible thing in this world. It’s a place where my ideas from the city meet those of long-time community members. And that’s powerful for me.”
If you want to get more involved with your community, the OCPC is a place where conversations take place every month. You are encouraged to attend the next OCPC meeting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 9 at the Roberts Creek Community Elementary School to see how the group works.
– Submitted by Dana Wilson