Yarrow OCP Community Talk
December 3, 2012
Reported by Victor Froese
The Yarrow Community Talk at the Community Hall was attended by
approximately 70 residents. This is the first part of community engagement
related to the Official Community Plan (OCP) revision which will guide
development for the next 10-30 years.
City staff made a brief presentation regarding Yarrow. Karen Stanton, Rod
Sanderson and Peter Lee were in attendance. Yarrow is the area between
Giesbrecht Road on the east and Boundary Road on the west and includes
Majuba Hill. The population has been largely stable for the past 15 years and
is estimated to be about 2,800 in 2012. The average household size is 3.1
people (2.5 for the City) and 41% of households consist of couples with children.
Twenty-two percent of the people in Yarrow (19% in City) are aged 1-14 years of
The industries are categorized as 26% sales and service, 22% trades and
transportation, 16% business and finance, 9% management, and 8% primary
The infrastructure challenges are water supply, insufficient water flow for fire
protection, reliance on septic systems, and a high water table.
Mr. Klukas and an associate from Urban Systems from Vancouver conducted
small group discussions on a number of topics and had an electronic system to
record audience response. Questions were discussed for 15-20 minutes and
voting followed to arrive at the following results (only top results reported here).
1) What are the positives about Yarrow? 31% said rural but accessible, 31%
said it had a sense of community, and 29% indicated it was self-contained.
2) What are the challenges? 39% said “limit growth”, 16% selected
“transportation”, and 18% chose “crime”.
3) What is the vision for Yarrow? Items included preserving agriculture,
outdoors & environment, wider range of businesses, full spread of ages in
the population, better transportation, and recreation.
4) What characteristics are desired? Responses included visually appealing
core, a “destination”, no development close to river, careful development,
protect water quality, and overnight accommodation.
5) Response item for “development” – 14% for, 40% against.
6) Response item for “economic development” – 37% primary/farming, 24%
7) Response item for “transportation” – 31% roads, 26% transit.
8) Response item for “environment” – 28% environment, 26% air quality,
23% rural development.
9) Response item for “healthy community” – 60% crime & safety, 23%
Those in attendance were also asked to fill out a paper copy of the City of
Chilliwack Survey (which may also be found on-line at the City of Chilliwack
website). The survey asks respondents to indicate how important a variety of
development and recreation related issues are to them. The survey was also
enclosed in the Winter/Spring 2013 Leisure Guide. It is recommended that as
many people as possible complete the survey which only takes a few minutes to