(Cochrane, AB) – Cochrane community members have a chance to help shape how our community grows and evolves through a new engagement and planning process launching September 5, 2023. The Envision Cochrane 2050 public engagement process will give people a chance to share their priorities for Cochrane’s future, with their feedback being used to create a new Municipal Development Plan (MDP).
In Alberta, municipal growth, infrastructure and servicing needs and land use are guided by comprehensive and overarching documents called Municipal Development Plans.
Cochrane’s new MDP will guide how the community lives, works, plays and thrives through policy direction that honours Cochrane’s past while shaping the town’s future. It will serve as a master planning document that provides direction to guide other Cochrane-specific plans.
“Cochrane’s current Municipal Development Plan was adopted in 2008, but today, we have twice as many people calling Cochrane home as we did then,” says Drew Hyndman, Executive Director, Development & Infrastructure Services for the Town of Cochrane. “Through the Envision Cochrane 2050 engagement process, we want to make sure all community members have a chance to influence how Cochrane grows and develops.”
Cochrane’s 2023 Growth Study was a preliminary step in the process to update the MDP, which will closely align with Cochrane’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan to ensure the community grows with purpose. As an umbrella planning document, the MDP provides direction for other community plans including Cochrane’s recently updated Land Use Bylaw as well as the Cochrane Sustainability Plan, the Growth Management Plan, Area Structure Plans and Neighbourhood Plans.
The first phase of Envision Cochrane 2050 engagement will run from September 5 to October 2, 2023. It will include an online survey, interactive online map and quick polls at letstalkcochrane.ca/envision, as well as several community conversation opportunities and engagement stations including:
Residents can also look for an insert about Envision Cochrane 2050 in their utility bills this month.
This initial engagement phase will focus on five key community themes:
In early 2024, the second phase of Envision Cochrane 2050 engagement will include a chance for community members to review the initial policy approaches. In mid-2024, the third and final engagement phase will provide an opportunity to review the draft MDP.
"We already know that people have concerns about rapid growth within our community and how it impacts housing affordability and availability, traffic, servicing and infrastructure, as well as the local environment,” Hyndman adds. “Envision Cochrane 2050 will be the policy document that will help guide that growth in a manageable way."
For more information and ways to participate in Envision Cochrane 2050 visit the Town of Cochrane engagement portal at www.letstalkcochrane.ca/envision.