A resident who led the efforts to try to ensure development in Lantzville matched the ideals of the OCP is running for council.
Joan Jones, 67, who used to be a director for the Lantzville Community Association and repeatedly called for lower density for high-profile developments in the district, is one of seven candidates trying for election Oct. 15.
She said she became politically involved in recent years because she felt the previous council wasn’t doing enough to engage citizens and so she felt motivated to take up that cause.
“There was a feeling that everything was just fine, the official community plan had been done and so they could sit back and enjoy life in Lantzville, which is what people want to do here, but sadly, that wasn’t the case,” Jones said. “There were a lot of decisions being made at the council level that were amending the plan in ways that were possibly not supported by residents.”
She said the work of collecting signatures, whether it was walking neighbourhoods or huddling under a tent in the rain, has given her a “huge connection” to the community. In recent months, some of the people she encountered asked her about running for council, and she says she thinks it would be interesting work, especially if she becomes part of a group that works well together.
“What I am most interested in doing lines up very nicely with what residents need,” she said. “They need to be informed, they need to be heard and they need somebody acting on their behalf.”
Jones was spokesperson for the community association when it asked the B.C. Supreme Court for a judicial review of OCP and zoning amendments related to the Clark-Medd development, a case that is still before the courts. She recognized the potential for conflict of interest, however, and hasn’t been associated with the community association since the spring.
Even though the controversial Village South proposal failed to advance at the council table this fall, Jones said it’s still an election issue in Lantzville as she expects another proposal will come forward in the new year. She said other development plans are in the works, too, which she would support if they’re “done right, done nicely, with standards in the build, management of the water … we know the official community plan calls for diversity of housing so we need to make sure that is there, and affordable housing.”
Jones coached recreational and competitive athletes for more than 30 years and said some of the leadership she taught in that line of work could be applicable to civic leadership.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/votejoanjones.