People in North Cowichan say preservation of the municipality’s natural environment and rural character are big priorities for them.

Consulting firm MODUS has prepared a report from a public survey it did over the summer as part of North Cowichan’s preparation of a new Official Community Plan.

The report will be presented to a meeting of the Official Community Plan advisory committee on Wednesday evening.

People in North Cowichan say that the preservation of natural areas and outdoor recreation are among the top priorities.

On the subject of urban growth, residents of North Cowichan want to see at least some of the rural character of the municipality preserved.

The survey found that residents want urban development to focus on creating compact communities and prevent unregulated sprawl.

Survey respondents also want the local economy to become “greener,” with investments in renewable resources and new opportunities for sustainable businesses.

One of the big concerns among residents is illicit drug use in the community, and the perception there is a related increase in crime, particularly around safe injection sites.

Survey respondents say they would like to see additional supports, services, and accommodation for people experiencing homelessness in the community.

The consultations are working with North Cowichan as it revamps the official community plan, a project that is expected to be finished by the middle of next year.

The OCP project process is split into four key phases and is currently in Phase 2 of this
process.

The MODUS report will be presented at 5 pm on October 28 in an electronic meeting.