By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The Town of Coaldale has taken further steps to redo the town plan.
During their regular Jan. 28 meeting, Coaldale town council discussed the Town Plan review.
Council had previously approved a review and rewrite of the town existing Municipal Development Plan (MDP) during their Oct. 22 meeting, with the MDP being renamed as the Town Plan. At the time, the plan’s Project Charter indicated that a more detailed public participation plan would be provided for council to review at a later date.
Speaking at last week’s council meeting, Spencer Croil, director of planning and community development, said that the process has been split into four steps, which align with the International Association for Public Participation’s (IAP2) tools and techniques that the town adopted as part of their participation policy.
He also added that he “failed to put in here”, was a desire to formalize a working group for the review, which would be made up by members of council, planning commission, subdivision and development appeal board and interested members of the community. If council gave their approval, administration could put the call out for nominations.
Coun. Bill Chapman asked if the Oldman River Regional Services Commission advisor to the town as on of the stakeholders, to which Croil said he was included as one of the 13 members of the project team.
On page 15 of the project charter, in the draft Town Plan review and rewrite: Public Participation Plan framework, Chapman raised a concern he had over a word.
Under the ‘Tools/Techniques’ column for ‘Project Kickoff’, one of the suggestions was installing graffiti walls around town. Chapman felt the term ‘graffiti’ had negative connotations, and asked if it could be reworded
“Graffiti to me, just alludes something more loose and seems to, I know I’m just very protective of our community, and graffiti is not really something I approve of,” said Chapman. “If you use a different word for that, it would help me.
“It’s not a deal breaker for me, I just though we could use a different terminology for.”
Croil said that while graffiti was a colloquialism in planning world, it was something they could change if it was “off putting”.
When asked about were they are with working groups, Croil said they could initiate the working group “almost immediately, with the survey possibly going out ahead of a working group, but can be formalized after that with some initial feedback for more detailed discussion for the working group, as they work in a review and advisory capacity.
“Generally, a way a working group would be used in this context would be both sides of the coin, in terms of feedback and being provided items for review,” said Croil.
“So essentially, productive dialogue would be based on feedback from the engagement process and staff presenting technical information to them for consideration.”
Although the guidance from a working group isn’t typically binding, Croil said that it was “helpful and generally considered in the process”.
Council unanimously passed a motion to approve the Town Plan review and rewrite Public Participation Plan with the amendment to include a working group.