With some residents heading north to look for work, City of Vernon officials admit something must be done to reverse that trend.
The draft official community plan, which was endorsed by council this week, has a specific section dedicated to the economy.
“I hope that in the budget process, we look at economic development,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.
Lord believes staff may need more financial resources to do everything expected of them.
“They need more ability to tap into (potential investor) contacts and that can mean more time on the road,” she said.
There is also a push to have the OCP focus on the current lack of industrial land because that is preventing some investors from moving here.
“That has to be in the forefront,” said Coun. Brian Quiring, adding that a solution has to be found within Vernon and not in adjacent jurisdictions.
“We have to look at what we will do in 10 years and identify where is the right spot for industrial uses. It could be around the airport or the sewage treatment plant.”
Vernon’s draft OCP covers land-use activities for the community, while also dealing with issues such as transportation, affordable housing, parks and culture.
Once adopted, the 2013 document will replace the 2008 OCP.
One issue that is currently being reviewed is hillside development guidelines.
“There are a lot of subdivided building lots that are vacant and not appropriate for families with children,” said Quiring, adding that the situation inflates the number of overall building lots available in Vernon.
“I don’t know how we will get out of this problem.”