Ms. Dalpre’s letter in last week’s Record, concerning the rapid growth in home development in Mission, ended with a question about whether the District is following the guiding principles outlined in our OCP.
The answer to that is clearly, no, as shown by council’s recent decision to support the application by Polygon Homes to change the zoning of 40 acres in the Israel/Bench area, from Rural to Comprehensive Development and Multiple Family Townhouse.
For two years, through town hall meetings and staff presentations, residents of Mission were encouraged to participate in the creation of an Official Community Plan. The resulting OCP was approved by council in January of this year — just nine months ago.
Page one of that OCP states that “an OCP requires the… approximate location, amount, type and density of residential development to meet anticipated housing needs for at least five years.”
When approached by Polygon this spring, a council that listened to its electorate would have said that the development as proposed was not acceptable as it was not consistent with our new OCP — it’s tempting to say that the ink was still wet on the OCP. Instead, council allowed Polygon to proceed and at the Oct. 1 council meeting granted third reading to redesignate and rezone Polygon’s properties. Only councillors Stevens and Plecas voted against this.
In their present campaign literature, Mayor Hawes proudly lists as one of his accomplishments, “Completed a new Official Community Plan which will guide us through the next five years”; present councillor and mayoral candidate Alexis, states, “I listen”; and councillor Hamilton lists “public consultation” as a “vital planning exercise” she values.
Yet by voting to amend the OCP, these people also voted to dismiss the input of those Mission citizens whose input was so strongly encouraged.
It’s anyone’s guess as to how many more redesignations will be made in the remaining life of the OCP.