Planning Lake Country’s future

Community forum seeks public input to address growth and change.

Residential construction is expected to play a big part in Lake Country’s economic and population growth. - Image Credit: Contributed

Residential construction is expected to play a big part in Lake Country’s economic and population growth. - Image Credit: Contributed

The District of Lake Country will host an event Wednesday, June 7, to generate discussion about community vision and values for the future.

Called On Point: Choosing Our Future in Lake Country, the forum is intended to generate input for the process now underway by district council to update the Official Community Plan.

In a casual atmosphere with beer, wine, food, live music and art, the event will bring together community leaders to facilitate discussion about the challenges facing Lake Country as the district continues to grow and evolve.

The OCP is guiding document common to every B.C. municipality which offers a future glimpse into Lake Country’s planning decisions dealing with housing, land use, transportation, environment, economic development and recreation.

Forum conversations will be themed around key subjects relating to growth and change in the community.

While the OCP is not a legally binding document and can be amended moving forward, is does provide a baseline vision template for municipal governments to work from.

“An OCP is really about guiding and managing change in the community,” said Mark Koch, director of community services for the district.

“The final document will reflect the community’s vision, values and plans for change and will help Council when making decisions on important issues such as housing, land use, transportation, our natural environment, economic development, and recreation, for example.

“OCPs are typically updated every five to 10 years, but their long-term vision means they set a course for many decades.”

The forum is being coordinated for the district by Urban Systems Ltd., a consulting firm that has hosted similar community planning events in other Okanagan communities.

“This event takes the traditional open house or town hall and flips it on its head by using the arts and community storytellers to inspire more in-depth community conversation,” said Daylin Mantyka, Urban Systems event organizer.

“We’re taking the success of our On Point event that supported the #ImagineKelowna initiative last fall and bringing it to Lake Country, a place with a strong existing sense of community.”

The forum takes place at Beasley Community Centre, 3450 Woodsdale Rd., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the formal presentation beginning at 7 p.m.