Most groups giving providing input on the future of Kamloops appear to favour more balanced and sustainable growth than what they currently see.
As part of the second phase of revising the official community plan, 20 community groups took part in “OCPizza nights,” mapping out their vision for the city over the next decade.
Weighing a host of factors — transportation, recreation, environment and infrastructure among them — participants were asked to think about two general land-use scenarios.
One was a continuation of the 2004 KamPlan vision, which would only encourage peripheral expansion once infill, intensification and full use of existing service capacity are achieved. A second scenario would concentrate growth in the downtown and around neighbourhood centres, meaning less greenfield development in suburban and peripheral areas.
Jason Locke, community planning supervisor, said they have only begun reviewing data gathered this spring through community consultation.
“At first cut, it does seem that was the overwhelming preference,” Locke said, referring to the second scenario. Staff have yet to analyze the comments behind the preferences, he added.
A public input report, summarizing key themes and results of public consultation, will be brought back to City council on Aug. 16, when it will be released to the public and posted on the City’s website.
What is more certain at this stage than the outcome of the planning exercise is the effectiveness of the strategy used to obtain feedback.
The OC pizza nights provided free pop and pizza, courtesy of the City, while trained facilitators from each group led the process for documenting feedback.
“Actually, we were surprise with the uptake,” Locke said. They had anticipated only half the number of groups would get involved.
Whether it was the pepperoni, the Hawaiian or the gesture that sparked group dynamics remains open to interpretation, but the idea has delivered results in other municipalities.
They’ve tallied some of the numbers behind the process:
- About 450 conversations at three KamPlan road show events seen by more than 4,000 people.
- 188 participants at 20 OCPizza Nights held by groups representing more than 3,300 people.
- 115 participants in 17 stakeholder meetings.
- 50 students in two youth engagement activities (logo redesign and art collaboration)
- 600-plus recipients of several KamPlan email updates.
- 2,060 KamPlan webpage views (April-June)
- 13,990 unique views, 24,417 total impressions and 440 engaged users on Facebook.
- 9,516 impressions and 79 engaged users on Twitter.
In the third phase of KamPlan updating, a draft will be prepared over the summer and fall to be brought back for public review and comment by late fall or early winter.
Next month, city engineering staff will be focused on updating the transportation master plan, last revised in 2004 as well. This will involve gathering additional public feedback. The transportation plan will be finalized within two or three months of completion of KamPlan.