What is Community Planning?

Community planning directs future community development by establishing long-term visions, goals, policies, and strategies for the community. Unlike day-to-day development planning activities which typically focus on current development proposals, community planning draws images of the future of the community and helps the community achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

Community planning can influence many perspectives of a community, from housing provision, to economic development to environmental protection, parks and trails, public transportation, cultural continuity, community safety, to name a few. It ensures that the community functions well and provides the best services to its residents for generations to come. A well-planned community is also able to maintain a good “look and shape”, which enhances a sense of community and improves the happiness and wellbeing of its residents.

A master-planned community vs. a freely-sprawled community

Typically, there are two ways to develop a community – having a well-thought-out land use plan or letting the community grows itself freely.

A master-planned community

A master-planned community is a community that is carefully planned with full consideration of future objectives and demands. It develops a physical layout that is mindful of the environment and makes architectural and urban planning efforts fit into it.

A master-planned community typically involves meaningful consultation with its residents and designates lands into several zones. Each of the zones has its very specific function, which can usually be judged by its names, such as single dwelling zones, high-density residential zones, commercial zones, office zones, industrial zones, park zones, etc. Zoning maintains a good “look and shape” of the community and ensures that the community runs well both in each individual zone and as a whole. It also ensures that the wellbeing of the residents, economic development, and environmental protection are well balanced for decades, if not centuries, in the future.

The downside of a master-planned community is that the community may look scattered at the beginning with a lot of gaps between developments because it takes time to achieve the master plan. However, as time goes, the community will function better with comprehensive services to its residents – the future image of the community is always under control.

Malahat Nation has great potential for growth. With a well-developed Community Master Plan, we will be able to pursue the best interests of Malahat members whenever a new development opportunity comes up because we know whether the opportunity meets our expectations and where it should go. This would be a long process, but in the end, we will have a well-structured and well-functioned community that benefits future generations.

A freely-sprawled community

A community without planning (Houston, TX in 1970s)

A freely-sprawled community is a community evolved in an “ad hoc” fashion. It has little or no planning and sprawls as new development emerges. Typically, it takes a “first come first serve” approach, where new development is assigned a piece of land next to the most recent development.

The advantage of a freely-sprawled community is that, in the beginning, the community looks functioning well and provides convenient services to its residents because everything is close to each other. However, as the community sprawls, various problems emerge rapidly – the environment is contaminated, cars are jammed on the road, noise surrounds every household, economic development stagnates, and the community looks bad from afar. With little consideration of future demands, the community would easily end up with, for example, residential houses next to an industrial plant, water supply problems, or no land available for a commercial development that everyone wants.

Malahat Nation would have a compact neighbourhood at the very beginning if we let our community sprawl freely. Everything might be located within walking distance and we might be able to generate more revenue by accepting all the development opportunities that come to us, but our community would develop at the cost of our health, environment, and economy in the future.

Which way would you choose for Malahat? If you would like to talk more about community planning, please feel free to reach out!
Cliff Feng, Community Planning Coordinator

Malahat Nation’s Historical Archive

’uy’ skweyul / Í SȻÁĆEL / good day. 

The Lands department would like to share with the me’luxulh / MÁLEXEȽ community some details on the upcoming Historical Archive. This digital archive will allow the community to access information related to Malahat’s history from your own computer.

The structure for the Historical Archive is formatted similar to Wikipedia but with all Malahat related information. There will be two different levels of access to the site, one will be available to the public where non-community members can visit the site to learn more about the Nation. The second level will be password secured and protected and will include information viewable by Malahat community and staff only.

The Historical Archive will include subjects such as:

  • Language (SENĆOŦEN, hul’qumi’num, samish)
  • Recordings and documents
  • Books and reports relating to land and marine knowledge
  • Information on Malahat history

Understanding there are sacred teachings and protocols to be followed, there are ongoing discussions on what is to be included within this Historical Archive.

As this project progresses there will be more updates in the future, if you have any questions or input please contact Kate Richey in the Lands department at kate.richey@malahatnation.com

Planning for Medicinal Garden

’uy’ skweyul / Í SȻÁĆEL / good day.

The Lands department would like to share with the me’luxulh / MÁLEXEȽ community the ongoing Traditional plant garden project that has been in the works. The goal for this project is to give our community members an opportunity to educate themselves on plants that are in the surrounding area, or were historically in the area.

In the late-fall of 2021 the Malahat Traditional Researchers began interviewing knowledge keepers from me’luxulh / MÁLEXEȽ, quw’utsun and W̱SÁNEĆ. The information being gathered is surrounding the education of harvesting, where to find plants in our territory, and the traditional and medicinal use of these plants. The Teachings being shared will be used to educate our hwulmuhw mustimuhw (First Nation people) and most importantly our youth, to pass this knowledge on to future generations.

Planting season will begin in the spring and moving forward the Lands department will provide updates on the project. The intention come summer and fall is to provide educational sessions and workshops on plant harvesting and medicine making.

If you have any knowledge you would like to share about plants, specific plants you would like to see in the garden, any plants you wish to learn more about, or any general questions or input please contact Kate Richey In the Lands department at kate.richey@malahatnation.com

Marine Stewardship at Malahat Nation

The Environment Department has some exciting updates of their work!

The video below explains how the department is using Salish Sea Initiative funding to connect Malahat members to the marine environment, as well as supporting stewardship which helps Malahat protect the environment.

In December, Samantha Daniels and Dwayne Goldsmith finished their first semester at VIU in the Marine Stewardship Program. The Department also welcomed in a new Program Coordinator, Megan Tomlin, who will be helping coordinate some of the environmental programs. The Ghost Gear Program was announced and we now have a remotely operated vehicle (it’s like a robotic unmanned submarine) to look for lost fishing gear and debris.

The Environment Department is now equipped with a “Lifejacket Library” from Transport Canada, we have 19 lifejackets of different sizes that we can lend out to member who need them on the water. There are now three fully trained, on-water oil spill response personnel in their department.

Vacant Rental Unit Available

The Housing Department would like to notify you of a vacant rental unit available!

The Unit is a 1 bedroom located in the fourplex on Jesken Road, the unit will have a washer/dryer, fridge, stove and dishwasher included. Shaw available upon request.

Requirement minimum 2 years of Membership to be eligible for Housing.

Occupancy can be single, couple, single or couple with a child under 6.

Applications must be submitted by Feb 18, move-in will be April 1st.

Please update existing Housing application if needed.

Applications available on the Malahat Website here or physical copies in the Lands & Housing Office. Feel free to contact housing@malahatnation.com for more information.

The available unit is on the top right side of this fourplex