The City and RM of Weyburn reaffirmed their commitment to continue with the work begun as the Weyburn District Regional Planning Commission, with the acknowledgment the planning process will need to involve many more people and stakeholders in the We
The City and RM of Weyburn reaffirmed their commitment to continue with the work begun as the Weyburn District Regional Planning Commission, with the acknowledgment the planning process will need to involve many more people and stakeholders in the Weyburn region, representatives stated on Wednesday.The planning commission updated their position as they have been spending time in the last few months getting up to speed on planning issues and provincial zoning legislation, as well as studying the applicable bylaws in place for both the City and RM.What were trying to do is work together in inter-municipal planning and figuring out how to give guidance in planning issues, said Tim Cheesman, a provincial planning consultant who is working with the planning commission in working through the issues related to setting up.Planning is a system of identifying needs along with the challenges which exist, then finding the best available solutions leading to sustainable, pleasing and well-planned development, said Mayor Debra Button.Key members acknowledged that some challenges have come up which have been harder to deal with than they initially thought, but they reaffirmed their wish to continue working together in the commission.What we do today must be considered in the time-frame of multiple generations, and in the overall lifespan of buildings, perhaps 100 years or more. There are no worthy shortcuts, said Mayor Button. A well thought-out plan will be a source of pride for both the RM of Weyburn and the City of Weyburn.She added later that the public and developers sometimes have time expectations that arent realistic.The time frame is not always what people would expect. Were looking at 10, sometimes even 100 years out. Its a challenge, but one were willing to work through, said the mayor.Cheesman noted that the commission wants to see representation from the business and agricultural communities, along with any other affected stakeholders, to assist them in planning issues for the Weyburn region.When we first started, we were looking at just the area immediately around Weyburn, but we realize the catchment area is bigger than the RM of Weyburn, said Cheesman, adding part of the challenge now is to educate the public as to the importance of planning for future development in the Weyburn region.Commission chairman Jerry Jordens said sometimes ratepayers and developers have a state of urgency about their proposed developments, but we cant just jump into things quickly. We have to ask, does it make a difference down the road?Both the city and RM have policies that the commission will be looking at in the coming months, he added, so when developers come to the area, theyll know what to expect whether theyre looking at the city or RM for development. Meanwhile, timing seems to be one of the emergent issues they are dealing with, he said.Thats one of the growing pains; its not only dealing with the immediate needs, but also looking down the road for the future. Its a good challenge to have, because it means growth for both the city and RM, said Jordens.Reeve Carmen Sterling said there have been some challenges between the city and RM development-wise, but noted that by cooperating in planning issues, We all benefit. I think this is what the commission will be doing, and identifying some of the more high priorities that both the city and RM are interested in developing.She agreed with Jordens that there are processes that have to be followed as well, and part of the commissions job is educating contractors and the public about the processes that are in place in regards to development.I know that the issues will not always have easy answers, and boy, have we been finding that out. I appreciate the need to work closely together as we create the framework of policy necessary for growth that will benefit our region for the long term, said Mayor Button.Some funding for the commission has come through the Planning for Growth funding initiative of the federal and provincial governments.