The city has a new blueprint for the future.
The City of Kamloops has updated its official community plan to guide the next two decades of growth as KamPlan was officially approved on Tuesday night.
“In the six years that I have been around this table, we have been discussing KamPlan,” Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said. “I think that the few of us who are in this room tonight have witnessed, I think, a culmination in a process that has involved hundreds and hundreds of citizens in Kamloops.”
KamPlan plays a role in everything from transportation to infrastructure and parks to housing because all bylaws and work undertaken by the city must be consistent with the official community plan.
“It is the city’s guiding document for managing decisions related to planning and land-use development within the jurisdiction of the city,” City of Kamloops community planning supervisor Jason Locke said.
While councillors Arjun Singh and Pat Wallace were absent, the remaining council members
voted unanimously to approve updates to the legal document in anticipation of the city approaching a population of 120,000 by 2039. The population now sits at about 90,000 and the city anticipates a growth rate of 1.25 per cent annually to reach that mark.
“As we continue to grow, we need to ensure that we are growing sustainably,” Locke said.
KamPlan promotes densification in core areas of the city, transportation connectivity to reduce single-occupancy trips and diverse housing options to support the needs of all residents.
KamPlan has not had a major update since 2004. A team of city planners has been working on the review and update since 2014.
“That wasn’t the intention,” Locke said.
He came on board in 2016, jumping into the process in its second phase.
“It was more sort of resourcing issues. When I arrived, I was dedicated. That was my task was getting this done. This past year, we’d hoped to come a little earlier but then the byelection happened.”
The city spoke with the public, interested parties and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc in various ways, including round-table discussions, surveys, pop-up information booths and OCPizza nights.
“People were super engaged, happy with the types of engagement we were doing,” Locke said.
Public feedback indicated desire for: walkable neighbourhoods, vibrant and attractive neighbourhoods, reducing fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, increased transit frequency and routes, water conservation, a co-ordinated response to homelessness, diversity of housing options, well-lit trails, support for art galleries and heritage resources, improved emergency response times and frequency of foot patrols in Riverside Park, growth of clean energy, revitalized and redeveloped mall areas and ongoing opportunities for public input.
Locke said KamPlan will be monitored and evaluated, with annual reports on progress. An implementation strategy will come to council in the next month.
“It is, I think, a significant milestone in the history of our city that we have updated this important document that gives us a foot upon which to build into the future,” Christian said.
Read the full report online here.