As an architect I have always supported compact communities and smart growth principles. I will advocate for smart growth during the upcoming OCP review and will be looking to increase density and relax parking restrictions in some zones.
As a member of the climate action advisory committee and part of the team that drafted the plan I have a hard time picking the important aspects of the plan but I have some issues I feel are urgent.
1.0 Update and implement the Community Wildfire Protection Plan in the context of expected future climate conditions.
2.0 Incorporate climate considerations (emission reduction opportunities and adaptations for our future climate) into design, maintenance, and replacement of municipal infrastructure.
3.0 Embed considerations from the Climate Action Plan into all existing and new policy and bylaw I promote additional funding sources to ensure implementation.
In my opinion the single biggest impact to Vernon is extreme weather events. We have seen the impact of extreme drought, extreme rainfall and extreme heat. These events have significant consequences to our local economy, health and infrastructure. We need to continue our flood mapping strategy.
With respect to buildings, the BC energy step code provides significant improvement to energy efficiency. We should look to provide financial compensation for net zero home construction.
Public transportation and transit vehicles that are not powered by fossil fuel is a great way to manage emissions. Multi use trails and bike lanes need to be provided to all areas of the city.
Explore zoning amendments and additional incentives to accelerate the development of new rental housing. Reduce barriers and incentivize the construction of new secondary suites and secondary dwellings, including allowing suites in semi-detached dwellings.
Explore zoning amendments to support affordable home ownership and rental, including floor space ratio density zoning, small lot subdivisions, minimum home size and tiny house zoning, rental zoning, zoning for manufactured homes, and apartment lock off units.
Develop and implement a Land Acquisition Strategy that a) maps out priority areas for future land acquisition by the City, b) identifies revenue sources for land acquisition (municipal, federal and provincial) and c) explores innovative financing options
Our firm has completed several projects with the Okanagan Indian Band as well as the Lillooet Indian Band and Tsawout First Nation. I firmly believe in strengthening and promoting a healthy relation with all First Nation Communities. Also note that I attended a blanket ceremony with the OKIB.
I will support policy related to anti racism and inclusion. On a personal note we have updated our office policy manual to include anti racism and bullying and harassment policy. Also note that we have voluntarily closed our office and have given staff a paid day off for Truth and Reconciliation Day in order that they may reflect on the importance of the day.
The New Arts and Cultural Center will be a significant asset for our community and will continue to grow and promote investment in the Art and Culture sector. Heritage restoration grants should be continued and potentially increased.
The Greater Vernon Cultural Plan is a great document and is the culmination of a significant amount of work by members of our community. The implementation will only be possible with the injection of financial contributions by all levels of government. I will continue to lobby and seek support from upper levels of government for our community.
My priorities are: Protect, support and encourage public art. Ensure the healthy use and condition of existing cultural facilities.
Increase economic development through cultural development. Support the health and development of cultural not-for-profit organizations.
I have been a supporter of the arts community for many years both financially and through my architectural firm. I have been a board member of both the Vernon Art Gallery and Arts Council Of The North Okanagan.
I have completed two heritage restoration projects in Vernon, The Vernon Community Music School Carriage House and the Okanagan Landing Station House. I am committed to heritage preservation.
The economic development team at the City of Vernon estimated that four out of every five jobs in a community are created by the growth of existing businesses. With this in mind, the priority for economic development is to encourage existing businesses to not only stay in Vernon, but to grow and hire more employees.
I would support local businesses by promoting networking, shared support services, finding suitable sites for expansion, and navigating the developmental approval process.
As a medium sized business owner, the biggest challenge we face in attracting talent is the ability to provide affordable housing for young recruits. We have partnered with Silver Star resort to provide short term off season housing. As suggested in the housing action plan, the City should reduce barriers and incentivize the construction of new secondary suites and secondary dwellings, including allowing suites in semi-detached dwellings.
The City should support manufacturing and agricultural processing by maintaining and monitoring sufficient industrial land base.
The City should support growing and emerging information technology through the use of small business incubators in key downtown locations.
The City must remain current with issues facing the business community and be prepared to adapt procedures to align with changing market conditions, timing is everything.
The City must demonstrate its own resiliency in order to display confidence to the business community.
Providing adequate access to resources when emergency situations occur, along with financial funding or material resources readily available to those in need. Bigger scale option would be to implement land-management strategies for places like the Okanagan that deal with fires yearly.
To enable local ministries and non-profits, the municipality could help by
making the process of building new addiction facilities more attainable and providing more emergency shelters. The hindrance for non-profits is having the room for people to access help. The rate of addiction/homelessness is growing steadily but there’s not enough support for non-profits to put hope within reach.
Community engagement is key to ensuring success. An inclusive and meaningful engagement process ensures that our parks and recreation facilities are created by the people they are intended to serve.