Protecting the integrity of our OCP

Editor:

For the 25 years I have lived in Gibsons, there has been a long-standing desire across our town to support and encourage measures that augment our seaside village ambiance and fiercely oppose actions that threaten or degrade it.

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The Gibsons planner has made clear in his report on the July 29 council agenda that despite the strong and significant input from both members of the official community plan (OCP) review committee and the public to clarify language around village scale and character, he remains adamant that this is “not within the scope of OCP update project and not feasible within the limited time and funds available.”

Unfortunately, this again is a glaring example of what I referred to a couple weeks ago when I said publicly in the council chambers that, in my opinion, lines in the planning office are increasingly blurred between a political agenda and professional responsibilities.

During the summer of 2013 the planner challenged the first George Hotel proposal. He said then that “the form of the development (massing/height) does not fit with key OCP harbour plan policies,” which refer to maintaining the scale and character of Gibsons Landing and protection of views. He said the anticipated floor space ratio was “much higher than currently envisioned in the OCP.” 

What happened after that is still a mystery.

Many of us in this community are running out of patience. The safeguards we thought were in place to protect the unique character and scale of Lower Gibsons —qualities that are increasingly rare and have huge international appeal — are being compromised or removed. It is important to understand that citizens of Gibsons are not prepared to let this happen.

Tim Turner, Gibsons

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