Community Feedback on the Draft Plan: Summer 2022
City staff promoted the draft CEEP and the opportunity to comment on it at pop-up engagement events in July and August 2022. Climate Action staff were part of a City booth at the New Westminster Farmers Market on July 21, where they let attendees know about the draft plan and gathered ideas for community action. Market-goers brought up a wide range of action areas, from building retrofits, to biking, e-biking and e-scootering, to reducing consumption of single-use plastics and packaging.
The draft CEEP was posted on the Be Heard New West project page on July 14, and an online discussion forum and ideas board were open from July 14 to August 14. These opportunities to provide feedback on the draft were promoted through the Be Heard e-newsletter, social media, the City’s What’s Happening page, the CityPage e-newsletter, CityPage advertising in the Record newspaper, and an ad in the New West Anchor newsletter.
The discussion forum generated community dialogue, with 61 comments. Five residents posted on the ideas board. Two residents emailed the Climate Action team directly. Feedback conveyed a shared sense of urgency regarding climate action amongst participating residents. Discussion included the following:
- Support for rapidly completing an active transportation network that makes cycling and walking safer and more convenient, including by building out temporary improvements in the short term;
- Interest in building retrofits but concern about the cost to owners, as well as potential tenant displacement;
- Concern about through traffic, and related emissions and air quality impacts;
- Interest in more diverse land uses being permitted in neighbourhoods, including commercial uses and a wider range of missing middle housing;
- Support for significantly more tree planting on public lands, and increasing naturalized park areas;
- An interest in prohibiting new natural gas hookups immediately; many commenters were concerned about emissions and environmental impacts of gas branded as renewable natural gas, with one participant suggesting residents be provided fuel source choice.
The draft plan was also circulated to industry representatives and other organizations who participated in workshops earlier on in the plan development. The following feedback was received:
- Fraser Health provided a letter supporting the direction of the draft plan, and suggesting ways to strengthen the health lens; and
- An energy-efficiency engineer provided extensive commentary on building retrofit opportunities, expressing support for the direction of the plan and the particular emphasis on retrofitting multi-unit residential buildings, which have not typically been the focus of rebates and incentives to date.
Consultation has concluded