Implementing ‘green value on the ground’ in the City of Courtenay
City of Courtenay Official Community Plan
The City of Courtenay Official Community Plan can serve as a case study example to help other local governments assess how to translate policy into actions on the ground. The relevance of the Courtenay example is that it illustrates the benefits that result when municipal master planning and program implementation are guided by an holistic way-of-thinking that ‘connects the dots’ to achieve integrated and sustainable solutions.
According to Kevin Lagan, the City’s Director of Operational Services, “Courtenay is an emerging municipal example of ‘Green Value on the ground’. The City is taking a proactive integrated approach to how it does business. Our Strategic Plan, Official Community Plan, Subdivision Standards, Soil Removal/Deposit Bylaw, Development Permits, maintenance service levels and other related documents are being drafted or amended to ensure that sustainability, livability and reducing our environmental footprint is achieved. “
Titled A Blueprint for Courtenay, the City’s Official Community Plan was updated as of July 2007. To download a copy, please click on the adjacent image. “We are moving to the next stage which is to evolve from stating what we want Courtenay to look like to ensuring that it actually occurs on the ground,” continues Kevin Lagan, “For example, we now have five good years of experience in managing the rainwater resource rather than dealing with stormwater issues.”
The City of Courtenay and the Comox Strathcona Regional District co-hosted Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Comox Valley. In his co-presentation with Graeme Faris of the Regional District, Kevin Lagan noted that, “In the Comox Valley, we are collaborating to make things happen at the operational level. I believe local government collaboration is one of the keys to Connecting to Sustainability.”
“The three C’s is a cornerstone of making it happen: these are communication, cooperation and cost-sharing,” concludes Kevin Lagan, “Whether it is between governments, developers or NGO’s we can all achieve more and be winners if we work together. There are four local governments in the Comox Valley; to work alone is easy, and to work together takes real commitment and the common goal of sustainability.”
During the Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation tour, a memorable moment on the bus ride was circling around the roundabout, not once but twice. Previously, there was a high frequency of occurrence of traffic accidents at the original 4-way intersection. Construction of the roundabout involved a partnership comprising the City, ICBC and the Ministry of Highways.
Posted December 2007