A new vision for Vernon’s central core is one step closer to reality.
Council unanimously gave third reading to the city centre neighbourhood plan Monday.
“People believe the plan will help stimulate redevelopment and help make downtown a more livable space,” said Cleo Corbett, a long range planner.
The document, which will become part of Vernon’s official community plan, details land-use designations — what activities could occur on a piece of property in the future.
However, some residents have expressed concern that new land-use designations conflict with current zoning and what they can do now.
“It’s a plan for 30 years but it doesn’t change what people want to do on their land,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy.
“If you meet the current zoning, there is no change. The only change is if you want a variance in zoning and then the OCP kicks in.”
Corbett says there is a clear distinction between land designation and zoning.
“Land-use designation is a vision for property,” she said.
“Zoning is density and use. The plan didn’t look at zoning.”
Mayor Wayne Lippert believes the city centre plan holds a lot of potential for the community.
“It follows along with what many residents want,” he said, adding that residential housing is a priority.
“We need to have residents within the city centre so people can live and work downtown.”
The city is also considering financial strategies to encourage investment.
“We want to make redevelopment easier for people in the city centre,” said Lippert.
Council will consider adoption of the city centre neighbourhood plan Nov. 14.