Nelson City Council Briefed on Community Consultation Towards OCP

Nelson City Hall building

The City of Nelson is wrapping up phase two of five in their process to update the Official Community Plan.

This week’s presentation to City Council learned that staff recorded 642 survey responses and 242 interactions at community pop-ups, with more further consultation efforts listed for spring and fall of next year.

City Manager Kevin Cormack explains that the OCP is a living document that adapts year after year to a changing community:

“The current OCP says 2013, we made major changes to that as we adopted planning the rail-town snap…. When we do any of those planning exercises we are updating the OCP along with it…. It didn’t get fully re-written until now….”

Four foundational values developed through community consultation are:

  • Charming Buildings and Vibrant Public Spaces with Diverse Cultures
  • Year-Round Safe Active Lifestyles and Tourism
  • A Welcoming and Compassionate Community
  • Regenerative and Climate Resilient Leadership for all City Systems

The "What We Heard Report" heard Councillor Rik Logtenberg suggest opening up the data to show the community how decisions are reached:

“Having been somewhat involved in the process on a few fronts with the RDCK in particular… people aren’t going to react until it’s too late and then they’ll be upset that there is no longer a way for them to offer input, despite having lots of opportunity up until that point.”

Logtenberg hopes to channel lessons learned from the Climate Action Plan process:

“There is a group of people that feel resistant to government as it’s practiced that feel unheard and so what I would suggest maybe going forward as part of the next phases of engagement is to do a little bit more proactive engagement with some of the communities who have not answered.”

Staff explain that while historic feedback was utilized to develop that Climate Action Plan, the OCP is instead using active engagement and there is plenty of time left in the process.

The next phase aims to map out what is needed to achieve the community priorities.