"This is an extremely important document,"
explained Dupuis. "When we approve the final draft, it must be
submitted to the Province by the end of March. After that, it will form
the plan that will shape this city for the next 20 years."
The Official Plan lays the foundation for decisions related to land use
as it pertains to managing growth and change, protecting the natural
environment, investing in infrastructure, developing quality of place and
building a healthier community. Accordingly, because of the fact that the
Province provides the City with a great deal of grant money each year, it
is the Province that must make sure all of its conditions are met through
the Official Plan.
"If we want to receive their money, we must follow their
requirements," stated Dupuis.
"The main goal of the Province is to ensure that all future
development in the City is done by moving towards the central core, rather
than moving outside the outer limits now established," stated Mark
Simeoni, of the Planning Department. "In preparing the draft plan, we
had to consider all of the provincial and municipal restrictions, policies
and directives. This is a very objective plan and does not take into
consideration any political motives."
Developers of new subdivisions will be required to provide full payment
of any improvement to infrastructure needed to comply with the conditions
established by the Official City Plan. The determining factor over in
which area development occurs will be influenced by market conditions. In
other words, where will the developer realize the greatest profit.
Once the Official Plan is put in place, it will be even more important
for Valley East to mount an aggressive campaign to attract new residential
and commercial development. The help that will be forthcoming from Council
in promoting the Valley East and Capreol development will certainly be an
issue that will have to be addressed in the coming months.