Official Community Plan – 1st Reading

3 Comments

  1. Hi there,

    Just wondering as to what the procedure will be once the review of the Cedar Valley Comprehensive Plan is finally done and how any proposed changes will affect this OCP? For instance, I don’t agree with the 2 areas of purple (res/comm) abutting pink (s-f res). There ought to be a buffer zone btwn these areas. The purple area at the SE corner of Tunbridge and Cedar has part of the southern border abutting against the SF land, and the southern border also abuts townhomes. There ought to be a transition buffer in these areas. Same with the NW border abutting the SF land on the purple-zoned lands at the NW corner of Tundbridge/Cedar. I’d send you a snapshot of what I mean but can’t attach to this comment.

    And why was the OCP done BEFORE a review of the CVCDP was undertaken?

  2. Hello Mission Planning department. I have read pertinent parts of this OCP, but may have missed some details, so please excuse me if these comments are already covered in the proposed OCP.

    I like the detail in the OCP in many areas. In general I think the OCP follows general urban trends in terms of its densification etc. However, I think a lot could be gained by more clearly delineating and defining how to actually achieve the objectives of the plan in the various neighborhoods and areas in Mission.

    I think Mission still has a beautiful and unique old town in its aging old but well maintained small houses in the old downtown area. I think this area, instead of being designated multiunit residential, should be given a heritage status and whereas I think some lots could be multi-unit residential, many houses should be protected under a heritage designation and the entire neighborhood valued for the unique beauty it offers. In-fills should have stronger requirements for architecture. Currently whereas a few are OK, most are not of a very high standard. I think it would be very good if the beauty of the area was recognized and tools put in place to enhance it. Diversity in areas and very distinctive areas are very beneficial to the whole community.

    I used to be very keen on waterfront development. Now I am more cautious as we have seen such extreme weather events and so many high water years. I am concerned that we could invest a pile of money into making this area suitable for development and then have it all washed downstream. Agriculture and greenspace is better in an area that is flood prone (less expensive to protect and rebuild) than expensive urban infrastructure.

    I think that we need not only to be aware of reducing carbon emissions but also think forward to a future where there will be 2 degrees of warming. with this in mind I find the current development in Mission lacking and in spite of good motherhood statements, I am not sure the OCP leads us to what we need to think about. In 2026 we are going to be considerably hotter than what we are now. What will Mission feel like? What will be critical assets and infrastructure at that time? I would like to propose a few thoughts:

    1. I think the new developments (on very good agriculture land by the way) along the Cedar corridor will be heat islands. The houses are built right to the roadway. There are few opportunities for trees. This also applies to much of the new housing I see in other parts of Mission. Are we planning for a much hotter climate? We need to take this seriously.

    You need to have clearly designed developments. What we have along that corridor doesn’t know what it wants to be. It has no center, no commercial space, no greenspace and no ammenities to support dense development and no yards either. Go one way or the other. Make it dense but add in the greenspace and blend commercial in with it, or make it residential but with more greenery and area for trees. This half-way development should stop. It looks bad now and will be much worse in the future as it is not resilient planning that can help a city adapt to climate change.

    2. Biodiversity is very important and without a tree canopy and green areas it is very hard to understand how birds and other species will be able to adapt to a rapidly warming climate. You have plans to measure tree canopy. You need to really plan to have trees and not compromise.

    3. You need to think about food security. Food security is not achieved by a few gardens, but by supporting a commercial food production system. This OCP reflects thinking that is shared in the region. ‘agriculture land is not employment land and we need to take it out for employment land’, ‘our agriculture land is fragmented and lets just develop it and leave commercial farm development to other jurisdictions (and hope that they don’t also choose to develop their agriculture land)’. Etc. Etc.

    I challenge you to think seriously about two degrees of warming. What does it mean? It means that the areas we currently depend on for about 50% of our food (southern US, california) will be too hot and too dry to support the crops they currently grow. The food will be coming from areas further north. It means that we here in BC will be hoping to grow much more of our food locally. That will be hard and quite likely impossible to do up the mountain slopes. It will be possible to do on very good farmland that currently is designated in the ALR. The combination of good water resources and good soil resources will be a commodity so valuable in the scenario of a much warmer climate as to be priceless. The ALR is much maligned in this region in spite of very efficient and very productive farms, this is because the development community sees the farmland as in the way of houses, or as a place to put large houses. Planners and decision makers need to think more clearly about the ALR, which is one of the best tools we have for adaptation to some of the more dire consequences of climate change with an increasing population So:
    Suggest that supporting commercial farms even if the farming area is fragmented is very important for food security.
    Work on enhancing planning for farming areas, and keep land in ALR to grow the sector.
    I have met many people who recognize (as do lending institutions) that farming is a good business to get into, and who would like to start farming, but would like to buy land in areas like Mission ‘on the fringes’ that are parcels that are not overwhelmed with huge houses and that have access to large population centers.

    I am hoping there is a sincere effort to work on the agriculture piece in this OCP. I think that industrial lands are not used efficiently in most cases. Attracting and supporting commercial agriculture is also economically beneficial and is a net tax benefit, but it has to be done deliberately as it is a public/private partnership, like any other type of development.

  3. There are a number of issues with this town that do not seem to be being addressed. The advent of high housing prices has ballooned the number of cars on our streets. Some streets are almost non drive-able with parked tenant vehicles on the road.
    The Cedar Street-Highway 7 interchange is too congested just about all day. We need a bypass road from the bridge to Nelson St.
    Is there a plan for shopping center in the Cedar development ?
    Why are we all forced to drive down to the Highway for groceries ? Sure is a lot of pollution being pumped out of all those cars.
    When exactly are you going to do paving on the Hurd-7th ave area ?
    Road has been falling apart for years and is still crumbling.