Posted on 03 October 2012 by Keith Lacey
The long-term development of one of the crown jewels of this community – Gyro Park – will be the sole subject when numerous stakeholders, including members of town council, gather next week for a three-day planning session to discuss numerous options relating to the popular downtown gathering place.
The Gyro Park charette will include an introductory session on Wednesday, Oct. 10 to be followed by two daily sessions on Oct. 11 and 12, respectively.
A charette is a multi-step process whereby stakeholders are assisted by trained facilitators to articulate and share ideas, reconcile differences and seek common goals and collaborate in developing solutions, said Alain Cunningham, the Town of Osoyoos director of planning and development services during a presentation to town council’s committee of the whole Monday.
The intent of the Gyro Park charette is “to synthesize all the diverse and sometimes competing stakeholder priorities for using this relatively small piece of land and water into a common vision, overall concept plan and set of action items for going forward,” said Cunningham.
The town has retained City Spaces Consulting to facilitate the Gyro Park charette, based on the director’s recommendations to other members of the Osoyoos Waterfront Steering Committee (OWSC). The consultants met with the committee members on Sept. 13 to discuss what they expect to come out of the process and criteria for selecting stakeholders, said Cunningham.
The Osoyoos Seniors Centre has been booked as the venue to host the charette because of its convenient location in the park, he said.
Coun. C.J. Rhodes, who is a member of the OWSC, will be one of two councillors to attend and be an active participant in the charette.
Representatives from numerous Osoyoos businesses and community organizations applied to participate in next week’s charette.
An “open café” has been advertised to take place on Thursday, Oct. 11 as interested members of the public can view draft plans completed so far and provide comments which the consultants will feed back to the stakeholders the following day.
Planning staff will attach sample plans to an information sign located in Gyro Park with an invitation for the public to fill in comment sheets, said Cunningham.
Respondents will have the option of joining other members of the public at an advertised, multi-day drop-in session at the town’s planning office to view all charette documentation, ask questions and enter their comments, he said.
All comments received will be forwarded to the consultants before they make a final presentation to council.
Some staff members will assist at the charette as resource persons, but will not participate as stakeholders to ensure all results are community-driven in fact and appearance, said Cunningham.
“The original list of invitees … shows that a careful selection was made to embrace a broad range of stakeholder groups,” he said.