Re-elect Paul Horn for Mayor
Leadership ~ Experience ~ Vision
We are better together!
Paul has proven that he knows how to work with his community to tackle challenges and explore opportunities. He understands Mission and has a vision for keeping our "small town feel" no matter what comes our way.
Waterfront Planning Facts
Much is being said about the Mission Waterfront Revitalization Master Plan, so I thought I’d post it here for you to see.
The map on Page 8 (photo above) shows that about a third of the land is dedicated to industrial uses (brown and pink) and another third has a mixture of commercial, mixed (homes above with businesses on the bottom) and destination (i.e. tourist) uses (in purple, red and orange). The remaining areas are protected areas, public spaces and the Mission raceway lands. The focus is on lands that produce high paying and local industrial and institutional jobs.
Foreshore and creeks are generally protected from development because of environmental values, so those areas have been set aside for enhancement and public access. You can see that the plan accounts for additional rail access, short sea shipping (e.g. barge or container shipping) and an improved marina, as these will all help to increase local employment.
Waterfront planning has occurred for many years in Mission, but stalled in 2011. In the past four years, Mission's council has been active in studying the area, beginning with technical studies that began in 2019. The most recent stage of the WRMP process was initiated in March 2021 and concluded this past summer after multiple opportunities for public input and considerable scientific and economic analysis. In the case of our preferred land use plan, Mission tested for soil contamination, flood safety and soil stability. We also analyzed the servicing needs and economic viability of the plan. We had more than 10,000 on-line engagements from local people in our last consultation, as well as extensive face-to-face consultation with the 80+ current landowners in the area. In the end, we arrived at our current plan based on a combination of landowner input, public feedback, and scientific analysis.
The WRMP is a Neighbourhood Plan. The aim of a neighborhood plan is to provide current owners, taxpayers and potential investors clarity and fairness in the planning process. A neighborhood plan helps avoid costly unknowns and provides for solid financial planning, while allowing a community to plan for infrastructure such as sewer, drainage, water and roads to properly service the area.
Civic governments are legally required to do Official Community Planning, and neighbourhood planning is considered a best practice for doing so in key areas because it gives stakeholders ample opportunity for input and analysis. That’s why other Canadian communities like Calgary, Kelowna, Brantford and Kingston have adopted Waterfront plans. It’s also why Mission’s plan is featured prominently in real estate listings for some of our waterfront properties.
Neighborhood plans have been previously done in other areas of Mission (Cedar Valley, Stave Heights and Silverdale) and they are common in neighbouring communities too. Neighbourhood plans are only meant to guide potential future development. They are not a statement that a City intends to undertake development itself.
The waterfront is a huge opportunity for all of Mission. This plan will evolve as we work with investors and see new possibilities, so we need to pull together if we want to see our community move forward.
No matter what you may hear, I hope you’ll take a moment to review the plan for yourself.
Here’s the plan in summary:
Here’s a link to our Engage Mission page which has the longer version, plus videos and information from other sources:
Building permit times dramatically reduced!
When Paul was elected 18 months ago, he promised to reduce building permit wait times. Single family permits waits often exceeded 8 months. Today they are at 13 weeks and steadily improving. That's a month faster than Abbotsford.
Under Paul's leadership, the City has made a number of changes. New Building Officials and department staff have been hired (funded by the growth in applications, not taxes). The department was re-structured and new leadership has worked to create a more consistent approach. Problem-solving and builder forums have helped local contractors better understand how to improve their applications, while offering the City valuable feedback.
The work isn't done. In the new year, the City will complete the implementation of a new computer system that should dramatically enhance staff and client communication. And Mission's building department is continuing to work on policy and process improvements to keep things moving forward. There will also be an improved local "dashboard" that will allow everyone to keep track of our wait times for a variety of different permit types.
New videos posted!
Since October 12, we have posted 8 new videos here, on topics like Public Safety, Inclusion, North Mission, and more.
If you missed Grill Paul, you can still watch the video here.
Paul outlines his priorities and answers your questions.
Mission in the News!
Paul is back for the 2022 Mayoral Race
It’s official – Paul Horn will be back in the race for the mayor’s seat in the municipal election this October.
“Mission is known throughout the region as a highly agile city, willing to tackle challenges with community support. We deserve to think boldly and to define ourselves on our own terms. I am excited to be a part of that work,” said Horn.
First elected as Mission’s mayor in a May 2021 by-election, the life-long community leader, college instructor and former city councillor intends to build on initiatives he championed in the past year.
Horn’s 2021 platform focused on improved communication from city hall, economic growth, jobs, housing, health services, and visionary land use planning that incorporates community values. The city made strides in all of these areas, but the most important work is yet to come, says Horn.
“We completed our Affordable Housing Strategy, and the waterfront and Silverdale planning, but the next council will be charged with executing those plans. That will mean working with other levels of government, investors, community groups and citizens to make our plans a reality,” he said.
When asked what ingredients he brought to council, Horn points to three key initiatives. The first is the Community Wellness Strategy, to be completed this coming fall. “I felt that council’s strategic plan missed a key area, namely the health, education, and human services needs of the community. The community wellness strategy is an opportunity for all of our partner agencies to describe how we want services to improve as Mission evolves.”
Horn also strives for better communication from City Hall. By improving the city’s survey tools and more interaction with residents through Council Coffees, Community Conversations and Facebook Live, Horn has heard community members say there is an improvement in the way City Hall responds. “We are just getting started. In the future, we will have more forums and symposiums, such as one on the opioid crisis plan for the fall, and opportunities for walks and informal engagement with myself and other members of council.”
Third, Horn is eager to implement the revised Environmental Charter, which had not been updated since 2008. “While innovative, the last charter did not contemplate the effects of climate change. The updated charter will identify new goals and appropriate resourcing, and revising policies for land clearing. Unchecked land clearing has led to various problems for our community, including erosion and mudslides,” he said.
Horn says there is much to do in the next four years as the economic effects of the pandemic hit cities like Mission. He stated that inflation will be a challenge as the city addresses pressing needs such as traffic, public amenities and fire services.
However, Horn is optimistic about Mission’s future. He points to health and education investments to come from the Fraser Health Authority and the University of the Fraser Valley. “FHA and UFV have each made $10-million commitments to improving our local facilities. Both have let us know it is because Mission is ‘growing up,’ and community members are actively supporting improvements such as the CT scanner.”
“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live."