Summary of Input from OCP Workshops – January 2016

Summary of Input from OCP Workshops – January 2016

On January 9, 2016, four themed workshops were held regarding the Mission Official Community Plan. The workshops included the following:

  • Business, Industry and Development
  • Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Parks, Recreation and Environment
  • Social Health, Community Services and Seniors

The purpose of this community engagement was to inform participants about the project, and to request their perceptions about the topic in terms of strengths and challenges, and potential vision, values, objectives and policies for the Official Community Plan.

The following is the input from the workshops, with each bullet representing an idea put forth during brainstorming for the questions on the left. After brainstorming, each group helped to synthesize the results into a list of the top items, ten maximum for each question. Each participant then “voted” for their top five choices in order of priority using audience response technology (“clickers). There were between 20 and 25 participants in each workshop.

The numbered sections are the top items listed in order of priority, based on the cumulative ranking of the group. Items listed below the numbered lists are additional suggestions or elaborations from the brainstorming process.

Business, Industry and Development

Strengths of Business, Industry and Development in Mission

  1. Potential – space for development, economic development, opportunity to do it right, available workforce, underutilized skills, plenty of space for infill in established development areas, room for new business opportunities
  2. Nature, river, environment, views
  3. Lifestyle, small town feel
  4. Downtown core, compact, no sprawl to date, easy access to business
  5. Tourism, activities, access to cycling trails, skiing
  6. Transportation – West Coast Express, rail, water/river, road, highway and freeway access, the port, good bridge connectivity
  7. Affordability, cost of land, residential
  8. Local government support
  9. Location – Proximity to Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Metro Vancouver and USA
  10. Friendly, long-term residents, welcoming

Other Comments

  • Oldest known settlement in North America
  • Forestry
  • Race Track
  • Head office of Community Futures
  • Farmers Market
  • Creative Arts – Film, digital media, fine arts
  • Long waterfront
  • History – historic buildings
  • Agriculture
  • Unique and innovative business leaders
  • Balance – work, play, live
  • Opportunity to ‘get in at the ground floor’

Challenges of Business, Industry and Development in Mission

Challenges of Business, Industry and Development in Mission

  1. Outdated downtown, disconnected, low density, lack of residences, negative perceptions of downtown
  2. Car dependency, sprawl, distance to Silverdale, lack of services in walking distance to neighbourhoods
  3. Perception of Mission, not enough awareness, getting the outside to know what Mission has to offer
  4. Transportation – congestion of routes to the west, one-way train, too many commuters
  5. Competition with other municipalities, many services available in other communities, attracting new business, location
  6. Lack of a clear vision – entrenched attitudes and processes, fear of change, mindset of community, get community to believe in potential
  7. Not enough entertainment, especially for youth
  8. Lack of industrial land
  9. Topography / steep for building, walking
  10. Economic factors – high rents for business, taxes, money leaving community, absentee landlords, access to government funding, global economy

Other Comments

  • Critical mass needed to support public amenities
  • Geographical constraints
  • Few large employers
  • Not enough good jobs
  • Hiked rental rates at Junction
  • Multiple property owners in brownfield areas
  • Real vs. perceived land value
  • No focus on agriculture
  • Too much blue collar
  • Big box stores impact small business
  • Crime – theft burglary, etc.…
  • Adapting to climate change – new tech businesses in line with climate change

Vision, Goals and Opportunities for Business, Industry and Development in Mission

Vision, Goals and Opportunities for Business, Industry and Development in Mission

  1. Support working and living in Mission
  2. Encourage more awareness (brand creation), attract new business (Green Business, Entrepreneurs, Young People, Information Technology, Renewable Resources), job retention, better quality jobs, incentives
  3. Vibrant connected downtown and waterfront, increase density, waterfront vision, town square, place making
  4. Protect/use agricultural land, food security, promote farming
  5. Compact neighbourhoods near services, infill development, densify around bus routes (Cedar Valley)
  6. Support tourism – leverage proximity to outdoor recreation
  7. Better transit/active transportation, slow traffic (<50kmph), create better pedestrian environment
  8. Realistic and visionary OCP – keep policy fluid, not susceptible to change in response to individual/market interests, don’t change so often
  9. Complete communities – with commercial, walking distances, communities within communities
  10. More entertainment, dining options, evening entertainment

Other Comments

  • Safe City, inviting, attractive, secure and bright
  • Pre-zone areas – in a soft way
  • Locate district owned land and assess value – sell off excess
  • Improve all 28 parks – good social spaces
  • Examine interim local servicing options
  • Expand beyond Stave Lake West plan (Stave Lake East?)
  • Increase industrial and commercial on highway accessible lands – change zoning from agricultural on southwest before Nelson
  • Strong bylaws in place
  • Align education with skills required
  • Embrace the reality of a commuting population
  • Brownfield development

Policies for Business, Industry and Development in Mission

Policies for Business, Industry and Development in Mission

  1. Support business – high tech, increase opportunity for light industrial land, incentives for small businesses
  2. Densify core area – no cars on weekends, integrated downtown/waterfront plan, mix residential and commercial uses
  3. Green/sustainable buildings, urban design, brownfield development, balanced development, improved building codes (LEED, Ashrae Initiative), encourage use of renewable materials
  4. Green business – encourage, focus on, provide incentives for green business
  5. Lifestyle enhancements – parks, mountain biking, recreation, water taxi to recreation, parks in residential areas
  6. Education opportunities/University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) campus downtown, work with high school and college students to learn about economic engines and provide practical projects
  7. More promotion of Mission – promote environmental and agricultural tourism, use OCP as an opportunity to attract new business
  8. More community involvement, review policies periodically
  • Include an Integrated Stormwater Management Plan into the OCP
  • What to do with the rail line in the waterfront area?
  • Address secondary suites policy – provide incentives for retrofits, enforce illegal suites
  • Diversity tax base (lower taxes in general)
  • Keep policy from being a barrier to timely actions
  • Commit to fossil fuel reduction targets
  • Use “For Lease”” vacant buildings for opportunities
  • OCP policies need to be fiscally responsible (cost /benefit analysis)

Other Comments

  • Expand for industrial near Hatzic
  • Need industrial component
  • Development of industry is proportional to population
  • Urban growth boundary (UGB) is too limiting – “artificial boundary”
  • New growth boundaries would take focus away from the core
  • Why change every 5 years?
  • Why not more multi-unit residential?
  • Keep all agricultural land and get more
  • Don’t take out ALR
  • Garbage capacity
  • Ranchers on smaller lots for aging in place – on UGB line – across from City hall
  • Need to look at diverse housing types for seniors
  • Need to densify

Arts, Culture and Heritage

Arts, Culture and Heritage Strengths of Arts Culture and Heritage in Mission

  1. Arts Centre, Clarke Theatre, Library, Museum, Archives, Friendship Centre, Aboriginal Family Place
  2. Cultural diversity / First Nations 10,000 years, one of BC’s oldest communities
  3. Large vibrant arts community/Council, talent, arts programs, innovation and diversity
  4. Rich history, long-time residents – pioneers, Community Forest, railroad history, Heritage Park, street naming after veterans, powerhouse at Stave Falls
  5. Heritage Park, Fraser River
  6. Festivals – folk, music, Hydro Day
  7. Natural heritage – Stave Falls, Hatzic Rock, waterfront, salmon, Fraser River, natural setting
  8. Downtown heritage, intact core, public murals
  9. Heritage registry/ historic housing stock – wartime/victory housing along 9th and 10th
  10. UFV / education

Other Comments

  • Sue’s Copy Place
  • Mission raceway
  • Local materials (cedar and hemp)
  • Amateur photography class
  • Local publishing
  • Soapbox derby
  • Lifetime learning
  • History of strong municipal support for the arts

Challenges of Arts Culture and Heritage in Mission

Challenges of Arts Culture and Heritage in Mission

  1. Not enough money, resources, volunteers – building support capacity, sustained resource allocation
  2. Lack of awareness/ promotion (internally and externally) – visibility/access to art gallery, apathy, perception of art as “frill”
  3. Lack of space for artists, performances, mid-size venues, workshops, town square, public display locations, amphitheatre
  4. Lack of coordination of groups – competition, district support
  5. Demographic that supports arts, culture, heritage – 40-65 year olds with disposable income
  6. Not enough protection of heritage resources – neighbourhood level, lack of understanding
  7. Lack of connectivity between spaces/facilities – connection between historic and commercial Mission
  8. Not enough programs, education (youth, seniors)
  9. Lack of support for First Nations and other artists and culture
  10. Not enough public art – care for existing public art

Other Comments

  • No cultural policy
  • Geography
  • Real estate speculation – limited incentive for re-investment
  • Homeless
  • Lack of some retail
  • Poor external press
  • High levels of poverty associated with aging (historic) housing stock
  • Gaming commission is a challenge
  • Public 24-hour CCTV
  • Lack of film production
  • Downtown vision that will work
  • Lack of art depicting Mission

Vision, Goals and Arts Culture and Heritage in Mission

Vision, Goals and Arts Culture and Heritage in Mission

  1. Sustainability for arts, culture, heritage – make art a “lifestyle” priority
  2. Protect and connect natural heritage
  3. More venues – cultural hub, art spaces, live/work space – downtown focus, mid-size venues, maker space/studio/hub
  4. More promotion, branding of assets, tourism opportunities – family focus, natural and cultural/arts destination, website, directory of attractions, craft centre/artists circle tour, public art contests, attract demographic with disposable income (business class?), work with UFV
  5. Town Square downtown
  6. More liaison with groups – create umbrella organization
  7. Protect existing spaces and buildings – reopen Xaytem, enhance infrastructure at Heritage Park for events
  8. Housing diversity to support demographic
  9. Transportation to locations – recommend transportation available to cultural locations, Railway Ave (widen sidewalks, increase walkability)
  10. More programs and events – incorporate recreation activities with cultural ones, art classes

Other Comments

  • University of the Fraser Valley downtown
  • Reach out to local photographers to display their work
  • Brand Mission as the oldest settlement (10,000 years of First Nations heritage)
  • Promote local materials for artists
  • Foster neighbourhood cultural identities
  • Promote ‘pow-wow’ annual event
  • Improve downtown safety, access to archives, library etc.
  • Continue supporting early years’ centre
  • Ensure cultural opportunities in the development of Stave West

Policies for Arts Culture and Heritage in Mission

Policies for Arts Culture and Heritage in Mission

  1. Development contributions to public art, culture, heritage
  2. Cultural tourism plan – public tourist wharf
  3. Arts Centre downtown
  4. Policies for heritage protection – neighbourhood level policy, allocation of % of tax dollars
  5. Arts and culture officer (similar to economic development officer)
  6. Incentives for heritage renovations
  7. Public art policy – funding for public art, stronger language around the requirement for public art
  8. Grants for neighbourhood projects
  9. Respect heritage in historic areas through guidelines

Other Comments

  • “Sustainability” as a fundamental policy
  • Increased/dedicated policy for funding arts/culture
  • Make arts/culture part of economic development
  • Dedicated funding/programming around Sto:lo culture
  • Budget for downtown arts centre – all ages and interests
  • Incentivize development of secondary housing and renovation within aging housing in central downtown Mission
  • Funding for “artist in residence”
  • Update Wikipedia profile of Mission
  • “What’s On” magazine
  • Need implementation in the OCP
  • Don’t have policies that can’t/won’t be implemented

Parks, Recreation and Environment

Parks, Recreation and Environment Strengths of Parks, Recreation and the Environment in Mission

  1. Rivers and lakes, wetlands – Stave River/Lake, Fraser River, Hayward Lake
  2. Natural setting, environment, Silver Creek wetlands, views, mountains, green spaces, Stave River estuary, opportunities (Silvermere Island as Park)
  3. Great parks – Heritage Park, Centennial Park, Hemlock Ski Area, BC Hydro Parks, good access
  4. Trails for hiking, mountain biking, Fraser River Trail
  5. Community Forest
  6. Waterfront
  7. Abundant fish and wildlife, migration corridors, salmon habitat, sturgeon
  8. Large land area = potential
  9. Leisure Centre, skate park, sports park
  10. Farmland

Other Comments

  • People from other communities come for outdoor recreation
  • Absence of heavy industry
  • Need more protected wildlife areas
  • Good volunteer base
  • Good (unofficial) off-leash dog parks
  • Refrain from urban sprawl
  • Recycling and compost system
  • Location within the Lower Mainland, proximity to U.S.A. and Vancouver
  • South-facing community

Challenges of Parks, Recreation and the Environment in Mission

  1. Lack of funding for parks, recreation, environment – high cost of maintenance
  2. Lack of action re climate change – greenhouse gas emissions, forest mortality, storm preparedness
  3. Not enough protection for creeks, trees, species at risk, invasive species problems, degradation by ATVs, pesticides contaminating water, barges destroying sturgeon habitat, industry competing for recreation lands
  4. Development pressure reducing green/natural/ALR space, population growth, urban sprawl
  5. Pollution / flooding along waterfront, aquifers
  6. Lack of safety / security – pedestrian safety, more supervision required at Upper Stave campground, gun fire (redneck culture)
  7. Lack of trail connectivity
  8. Litter/graffiti/recycling issues – illegal dumping, not enough garbage/recycling receptacles, increased wildlife encounters due to presence of waste
  9. Parks not providing enough opportunities – need new Parks Master Plan, more park space for families, lack of diversity, poor signage, ensure public access to parks within walking distance
  10. No planning for dogs – no off leash parks, lack of clarity with respect to off leash areas

Other Comments

  • Too many personal opinions
  • Too much time spent commuting, not enough time to use parks
  • Park instead of barge loading at Hatzic
  • Ongoing commitment for resources
  • Tax aversion vs. “wants”
  • Sense of entitlement by citizens
  • Local government philosophy towards development, opposed to green development
  • Establish parks/open spaces before OCP is completed
  • Car dependency
  • Significant tree inventory

Vision, Goals and Opportunities for Parks, Recreation and the Environment in Mission

Vision, Goals and Opportunities for Parks, Recreation and the Environment in Mission

  1. Plan for climate change/carbon reduction – make Mission the greenest city in the Fraser Valley
  2. Better walkability, connectivity – prioritize pedestrians over cars
  3. More protection of natural resources, Species at Risk (SAR), wildlife corridors, open space, prioritize waterfront remediation and parks
  4. Smart growth/compact development – transit-oriented development, insist on green space allocations for developers, infill development, densify core, avoid greenfield development
  5. Promote Mission as an outdoor recreation destination
  6. Communities within communities, place making
  7. Incorporate trees and environment into developments, nature-scape, more street trees downtown
  8. Diversify parks – encourage longer stays, make more parks for adults, families, leisure activities/programming
  9. Protect agricultural land
  10. Better communication of plans, policies – youth involvement

Other Comments

  • Internalize environmental costs of “development”
  • Enough meetings and planning – more action
  • Keep to vision process vs. unachievable policies

Policies for Parks, Recreation and the Environment in Mission

Policies for Parks, Recreation and the Environment in Mission

  1. Improve and expand recreation infrastructure indoors and outdoors – improve branding and tourism marketing
  2. New Parks Master Plan
  3. Tree protection bylaw
  4. Negotiate for more/better parks through development – require community gardens in new developments, adventure parks, encourage densification to relieve pressure on parks
  5. Clean up and create open space along the waterfront re: flooding – enhance and restore riparian areas, reduce/control barge traffic on Fraser River
  6. Water conservation through landscaping
  7. Protect more ESAs, SAR, adopt environmental rights declaration, create buffer zones around parks and ALR, increase stream setbacks
  8. Carbon offset system for Municipal Forest – re-designate as parkland, carbon credits
  9. Designate Silvermere Island as park
  10. Ban cosmetic pesticides

Other Comments

  • Salt water treatment rather than chlorine cleaning of leisure centre pool
  • Develop cooling centres for heatwaves
  • Improve/replace sewers south of 7th to increase housing density
  • Integrate existing plans and establish priorities
  • Provide incentives for citizens to switch to renewable energy
  • Large fines for attracting wildlife to improperly stored waste
  • Retrofit public buildings to use renewable energy
  • More/animal proof garbage and recycling in parks
  • Improve/incorporate stairwells, hand rails along sidewalks to improve walkability downtown
  • Ditch mowers spread invasive plant species
  • Sustainability as fundamental policy
  • Implement District-wide conservation policies
  • Encourage more programming in some parks
  • Raise dykes and limit hard surface development along waterfront
  • Energy resilience/renewables
  • Further support for Stave West Plan
  • Signage
  • Communicate formally on real costs of infrastructure
  • Daylight Lane Creek
  • Leverage DCC’s for infrastructure
  • Tertiary treatment of Matsqui/Mission sewage treatment
  • Ensure a certain amount of greenspace
  • Increase 5% in lieu of development
  • If we raise the dykes, build the Mission bypass on the dykes
  • Name all the creeks
  • Climate change adaption planning – separate process needed
  • Enhance Mission’s resiliency to climate change
  • More street lighting

Additional Comments

  • Parks should be top priority
  • Silvermere Creek acquisition under way
  • 2009 Parks Master Plan
  • Some recommendations completed, some no longer relevant
  • No annual review
  • Lots of dog off leash areas proposed
  • Need a Master Plan to get federal infrastructure money
  • Costs to implement were astronomical

Social Health, Community Services and Seniors

Social Health. Community Services and Seniors Strengths of Social Health, Community Services and Seniors in Mission

  1. Volunteers / service clubs – strong community volunteer base, churches, F.E.T.C.H. website Hope Centre, FRONYA, Medical Doctors Night Clinics
  2. Number of service providers – Mission community service agencies are engaged and supportive
  3. Focus on solutions – project-based solutions and partnerships, working towards social health
  4. Concentration of services downtown – post office, railway, food bank
  5. Dedicated staff person
  6. Local hospital – recent investment in Mission Memorial Hospital, strong palliative care, presence of hospice
  7. MY House
  8. Collaboration, well connected – strong history and reputation of collaboration
  9. Parks and recreation opportunities – Farmers market, Recreation Centre, Bear Mountain Hiking, Seniors Centre, Heritage Park
  10. Lifetime learning

Other Comments

  • Seniors housing availability
  • Engaged seniors
  • Long standing appreciation of seniors
  • Support Services for Women – second stage housing facility
  • Private sector contributions to social services
  • Stone Soup

Challenges of Social Health, Community Services and Seniors in Mission

Challenges of Social Health, Community Services and Seniors in Mission

  1. Not enough affordable and inclusive housing options – need more rental, variety
  2. Mental health services lacking/disjointed – long waitlists, encumbered by provincial policy
  3. Difficult transportation – slopes, poor/infrequent transit, long commutes, increasingly dispersed shopping and services
  4. Growing homelessness and poverty, need more services – increasing drug problems
  5. Inadequate youth centre, programs
  6. Not enough support and services for seniors – recreation and housing options
  7. Lack of fresh produce at food bank
  8. No medical clinic downtown
  9. Pressure to move services across river
  10. Disjointed services – lack of dedicated staff for various programs

Other Comments

  • Lack of medical general practitioners
  • Lack of autonomous hospital services
  • Acceptance of progressive city planning is challenging
  • Anxiety is high for children and adults
  • Need to grow neighbourhood associations
  • Never enough resources to fund programs
  • RCMP not as engaged as community would like
  • Pressure on local government to reduce resources from District

Vision, Goals and Opportunities for Social Health, Community Services and Seniors in Mission

Vision, Goals and Opportunities for Social Health, Community Services and Seniors in Mission

  1. More affordable and inclusive housing options – near transit, mixed income, age in place
  2. Healthiest community in BC
  3. Support volunteerism
  4. Sustainable community services – multifaceted approach, community schools, improved mental health services, adequate resources to provide services
  5. Complete community – livable, walkable, accessible to all
  6. Improve food security
  7. Support harm reduction – reduce stigmatization of homeless people, need support from City Hall (people and funds)
  8. Encourage public, intergenerational dialogue
  9. Eliminate homelessness
  10. Town Square

Other Comments

  • Streamline messaging between departments – one clear vision
  • Increase corporate social responsibility
  • Promote existing programs
  • Grow engagement with nature
  • Promote small business

Policies for Social Health, Community Services and Seniors in Mission

Policies for Social Health, Community Services and Seniors in Mission

  1. Cross-cultural, inclusive policies and events – ethnic, gender, etc., meeting your neighbours
  2. Multi-disciplinary approach to homelessness
  3. More employment opportunities – homeless opportunities
  4. Encourage Neighbourhood Associations – financial and relationship building
  5. Age friendly designation
  6. New housing to include percent for seniors’/mobility needs
  7. Move City Hall or satellite services downtown
  8. Downtown plan to include health clinic and pharmacy, intergenerational resource centre – senior and youth skills exchange
  9. Cross-government collaboration – District as facilitator, not funder; District coordinator to pull together resources to make services easier to use
  10. Expand MY House services – run more programs through schools

Other Comments

  • Fresh produce available at food bank
  • Ready to Rent initiative
  • More free programs for families (health and exercise)
  • Property tax breaks for first time home owners (not just seniors)
  • Free dental
  • Library as a community hub
  • Keep emergency services in mind when planning neighbourhoods
  • Municipal alcohol policy
  • Funding directed to prevention
  • Smoke free outdoor public spaces
  • Decrease violence against women (policy and practice)
  • Seniors activity centre
  • Nature-based playgrounds
  • Keep other levels of government accountable for downloading costs
  • Safer pedestrian walkways – lighting, sidewalks
  • Insist on progressive policing methods and policies

Other Comments

  • Dramatic change in trends re: housing affordability
  • Where are people commuting to? Big difference between Abbotsford and Vancouver
  • Young families have more money challenges than seniors and there are more of them
  • Community needs to integrate into new comers, not just the other way – approx. 500 immigrants
  • Connect Facebook pages of organizations

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