What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

    A Neighbourhood Plan is a tool that helps guide long-term decision making at a neighbourhood level. It is based on a set of policies (principles, rules, guidelines) that guide decision making in your neighbourhood. Neighbourhood plans are approved by the FVRD Board and all future decisions must be in compliance with the direction of the Neighbourhood Plan. Neighbourhood plans can be used to:  

    • Develop a shared vision for your neighbourhood 

    • Provide greater detail on the type of development that may occur and how it will occur  

    • Identify and protect park space, environmental assets and community amenities  

    • Identify infrastructure requirements to service your neighbourhood  

    What are the neighbourhood boundaries for Harrison Mills?

    The Harrison Mills neighbourhood is located north of the Fraser River on the northwest bank of the Harrison River. It is bound by natural features on all sides. The community is part of Electoral Area C which also includes the communities of Hemlock Valley, Lake Errock and Weaver Creek as well as several First Nations including Douglas, Leq’a:mel, Samahquam, Scowlitz, Skatin and Sts’ailes. Electoral Area C is part of the FVRD and has a total population of 2,218 residents as of 2016.

    The Harrison River borders the neighbourhood to the north, east and south, and the mountains border the neighbourhood to the west. Beyond the boundaries of the neighbourhood is primarily Crown land. The neighbourhood is located on the unceded territories of the Stó:lō, Sq'ewlets and Sts’ailes First Nations.

    Why is the FVRD undertaking a neighbourhood plan for Harrison Mills?

    The current Official Community Plan for Electoral Area C, which includes Harrison Mills, was adopted in 2000 and is now over 20 years old. Over this time, the policies of the OCP have been achieved and the document no longer suits the needs of the community. The neighbourhood’s existing infrastructure was built to support current development and needs to be assessed prior to any future redevelopment opportunities.

    The FVRD has been approached by landowners with proposals for significant (re)development in the neighbourhood that would require significant amendments to the OCP for Electoral Area C. These conditions have deemed it an appropriate time to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan and Local Servicing Plan specific to the Harrison Mills Neighbourhood.

    When complete, the Harrison Mills Neighbourhood Plan will communicate a clear vision that conveys how the community will develop and supportive policies including:

    • Core values and principles that will guide future development
    • Policies for the preservation of cultural resources, environmentally sensitive areas, and hazard avoidance
    • Policies that support Harrison Mills as a recreational gateway and vital area for eagle and salmon habitat
    • Policies for technical reporting and public review of future rezoning applications within the neighbourhood

    How much growth is expected in the neighbourhood?

    There is a high level of interest in the area which has contributed to the need for a comprehensive Neighbourhood Plan and Local Serving Plan for Harrison Mills. The completion of these plans will determine how much growth and development potential is possible in the neighbourhood based on servicing and capacity constraints, environmental considerations, and demand for development.

    How will new development be serviced?

    The Harrison Mills neighbourhood was largely shaped by the subdivisions of Eagle Point and Harrison Mills as well as the recreational developments of Sandpiper Golf Course and Tapadera Estates. The neighbourhood’s existing infrastructure (i.e., water and community sewer services) was built to support current development and needs to be assessed in advance of any major site-specific redevelopment.

    Following the completion of the Harrison Mills Neighbourhood Plan, a Local Servicing Plan will be completed that is specific to the neighbourhood. The Local Servicing Plan will identify the servicing needs, capacity and options to provide community water and sewer systems for the growth and land uses identified through the neighbourhood planning process.

    Will there be First Nation consultation?

    The engagement strategy prepared for the Harrison Mills Neighbourhood Plan outlines several opportunities for engagement with local Indigenous communities throughout the planning process. This includes meetings with Sts’ailes and Sq’éwlets, as well as with Stó:lō communities. In addition, there will be Indigenous engagement events that will complement a broader community-wide engagement event.

    However, the Project Team will also be reaching out to Indigenous communities and agencies to determine the preferred nature of engagement. The intent is to build upon existing relationships and to build relationships where none are currently in place.

    How can I stay informed on this process?

    Check back regularly to be updated on the engagement process and to be notified of future engagement events. You may also contact the Project Team at:

    FVRD Planning Department at dbennett@fvrd.ca

    Urban Systems (Planning Consultant Team) at slahey@urbansystems.ca

    Why did we initiate the Harrison Mills NP process?

    In recent years, the FVRD has been also approached by landowners in the neighborhood to examine new development proposals, proposals that require amendments to the existing OCP. These proposals involve tourist accommodation (motel/hotel, RVs), boat launch facilities, community medical facilities, local commercial uses, relocation of existing civic uses (FVRD waste transfer station) as well as industrial and resource use. In 2020, the Sandpiper Resort presented redevelopment concepts for the existing golf course; no applications were made. The scope was such that it would trigger a major Official Community Plan and Zoning Amendments. Given the level of interest in development and re-development in this area and the age of the existing OCP, the development of a neighborhood plan and local servicing plan for the Harrison Mills neighborhood is essential for orderly and sustainable community planning.

    How can residents participate in the Neighbourhood Planning process?

    FVRD has recently embarked on the Neighbourhood Plan process with the initiation of mailout letters and a survey. An important part of the journey is to receive public feedback at different times in the project. The public engagement process will include survey, virtual meetings, and open houses as we progress. There is no one form of public engagement that is more important than the other. Staff along with the consultants will identify common themes that will arise out of these different forms of engagement, which will inform the overall neighborhood plan. The FVRD Harrison Mills NP Have Your Say website has project contacts from both FVRD and Urban Systems, who monitor the inboxes regularly for written submissions as well. People can register to receive updates on the website. There will be future mailouts notifying residents of future public information meetings as well.

    Where can we direct people with questions regarding the NP process?

    The components (e.g. land use plan, density, housing type) of the Neighbourhood Plan are not predetermined. As such, it is important that residents are directed to staff anytime there are questions or comments so that we can include them in our review process and they form part of the research. There will be check-ins along the way with the residents to identify and address these themes and comments. The NP will be formed based on technical studies, Housing Needs Report, Land use analyses, and resident feedback. There are also general FAQs and background reports on the Have Your Say website that may be helpful. The website will be updated regularly with new information as they are received.

    Why wasn't community engagement done first before the technical studies were completed and a consulting firm was hired?

    Community Engagement and the technical studies are being undertaken concurrently, engineering field work began in the first week of September 2021 and the first part of the community engagement (community survey and project website) are now complete. 

    A Neighbourhood Plan will be based on two integrated components; Professional Planning Services that will develop neighbourhood planning policies and visions for the plan area, and Professional Engineering Services that will develop a Local Servicing Plan. The Engineering Services are to be fully integrated with the planning services. Engineering services must be adjustable and flexible to change through the plan development process. Servicing needs must respond to public consultation and must address public input. The Professional Engineering Services will include the development of a Local Servicing Plan to meet the servicing requirements of the Local Neighbourhood Plan being simultaneously developed and shall identify the servicing needs, capacity and options to provide community water and sewer for neighbourhood growth.

    Who paid for the technical studies?

    The Sandpiper Resort, a detailed report on the funding of the neighbourhood plan is online here: https://pub-fvrd.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=16126 and here: https://pub-fvrd.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=16127

    Who is paying for Urban Systems' consulting fees?

    The Sandpiper Resort, a detailed report on the funding of the neighbourhood plan is online here: https://pub-fvrd.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=16126 

    What are the latest development proposals regarding Harrison Mills?

    You can find all of the current development applications in the FVRD online here: https://www.fvrd.ca/EN/main/services/planning-development/current-developments.html 

    Where can the history of the current developments, namely Harrison Bay, Eagle Point, River's Reach and Tapadera, be located and accessed?

    There is a section in the Official Community Plan on the development history of the area, you can find that here: https://www.fvrd.ca/assets/Government/Documents/Bylaws/Planning~and~Land~Use/Area%20C%20-%20OCP%20Bylaw%2020%20-%20Morris%20Valley,%20Harrison%20Mills%20and%20Lake%20Errock.pdf

    See Part 1: Background Report History.