Revue, by Aaron Orlando
A definition of insanity, as the Einstein quote goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Call me crazy, but I walked into City of Revelstoke planning director John Guenther’s office last week, like I have several times over the years, expecting to get a few specific questions answered and get a few things cleared up. That didn’t really happen. Here’s why: I’m usually looking for concrete, tangible things – things that everyday people like you and me can relate to – as they pertain to city planning. John, on the other hand, is mentally juggling the land use plan that sets the framework for zoning changes, which must be integrated with OCP revisions, which mesh with the integrated community sustainability plan, et cetera. For me, it’s sometimes an impenetrable fog – and I spend a lot of time in city meetings studying these things. I wonder how much of the planning process trickles down to those who don’t. So, here’s my attempt to ferret out a few tangibles and news from planning department for you:
Bike lanes from RMR to Mt. Macpherson
We’ve reported the city got funding for this planned bike route that will link the resort with the popular mountain biking trails, creating a bike route through town along the way. The plan is to have it completed this summer, and consultations seeking input are planned for early June. Guenther said the route will consist of bike lanes separated with a painted line, as well as “sharrows,” which are basically images of bikes painted on the road along the route. “The proposal is to not take any parking away,” Guenther tells me. What isn’t firmed up is exactly where the route will go through the city. Maybe Third Street, maybe Fourth Street, or both, or a combination. Also requiring input is how to handle dangerous locations, such as the accident-waiting-to-happen intersection at Fourth and Victoria. Look for TBA meetings in June.
South of the Illecillewaet/trails planning
This is actually what I went to John’s office to talk about. What about a management plan for this area accessible via the new footbridge? “Laissez-faire” he tells me. “The trail connectivity question is a great metaphor for tying the community together. It’s the toughest thing to do in the community.” Guenther explains. “As you start formalizing those things they take a long time.” Last summer, the city had an intern working on mapping the existing informal trail networks and accesses to recreational space. Part of the job was figuring out who owned the land. That work is still ongoing. “The goal we had to begin with was to do the path of least resistance first,” explains Guenther. The plan is to work on the easy ones, the main routes and then work outward to the radial trails. This means for the whole city and surrounding areas, including the flats south of the Illecillewaet, which, by the way, are a patchwork of private land, city land and BC Hydro land.
Parks & Recreation Master Plan
With little fanfare and almost no final comment, the City of Revelstoke adopted the plan in March.
Land Use Bylaw
This bylaw sets the groundwork for many future land use changes. After consultations and many meetings over the past year, the official hearing was held last week. About 10 people showed up. A few liked it, a few suggested tweaks. Some didn’t like changes they felt would break up the single-family home nature of Arrow Heights. The bylaw will now head back to council for final approval.
Integrated Community Sustainability Plan
The city has just issued a request for proposals for a new Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. The triple-bottom-line 20-year plan is designed to align the city with environmental, social and economic objectives. The first step is gathering information and data on these three sectors. The successful contractor will then consult with stakeholders, then tweak planning documents and bylaws to make Revelstoke a more sustainable place. A final report and implementation plan will break the 20-year plan into five-year strategic plans, including specific goals.
My Revelstoke 2030
Your best chance to play with extra-giant iPads in 2012. In June, UBC planning students will be in Revelstoke to present and collaborate on results from an ongoing partnership study with the city. Amongst other activities, they’ll have giant multi-touch table screens that will enable you navigate through Google Earth-like 3-D images of a future Revelstoke, as envisioned by the UBC team. The idea is to provide feedback on future neighbourhood scenarios for Revelstoke. The city is encouraging you to participate in the process. Be in touch with them for more info.