HomeNewsIsland & CoastDistrict of Sechelt faces opposition to OCP amendment 

District of Sechelt faces opposition to OCP amendment 

The District of Sechelt is facing some pushback on proposed changes to the official community plan on development density. 

According to a council document, amendment would be done in two parts which would include rationalization of an overly complicated development density policy scheme within the OCP, and provide policies set boundaries around development trends to support provincial legislative expectations. 

The district outlined in the document correspondence was sent to members of the West Sechelt Community Association, and the Downtown Village Association, because of the potential impact these changes could have on the area. But several letters from residents in the area have shown they are not in favor of what council is proposing. 

Darla Urqhart of Sechelt said in a letter to the municipality that building larger structures in the area would affect the seaside characteristics. 

“I am against it because of the potential losses it will create to the seaside community,” Urqhart said in an email. “Sechelt has unique characteristics that need to be considered and respected before allowing changes that will increase building heights on all residential properties in Sechelt. 

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She also states compromise is necessary because allowing balance to the economy is key to reducing stress on residents. 

“We need to attract businesses, corporations, and professionals so that the community can reduce the tax stress on homeowners who are currently paying 85 per cent of the taxes,” she says. “It would be a huge mistake to limit, and sacrifice, one economic group for another by allowing all residential properties in Sechelt to switch to high density.” 

However, Sechelt’s downtown business association says they’re supporting the amendment because of the amount of stimulation this could have on the local economy.  

“Increasing density in the downtown area will have a positive impact on the local economy as it grows the local goods and services base,” they said in a letter to council. “It creates vibrancy and activation of downtown spaces, creates affordability for staff housing when smaller units are available and improves safety.” 

Council is expected to vote on the amendment during the Apr. 17 meeting. 

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