The Regional District of Central Kootenay has adopted a contentious official community plan for some rural areas mainly along Kootenay Lake.
Area director Ramona Faust says she is open to further changes, but decided to push ahead with the plan as it now stands.
“It’s been a long process and the advisory committee and myself evaluated all the input to date and decided to move it forward,” she told 103.5 The Bridge. “It’s not a concrete document that isn’t able to change if we find things don’t work.”
The document guiding land use and long-term planning in Balfour, Procter, Harrop, Queens Bay, Longbeach, Sunshine Bay, Bealby Point, Mountain Station, and other places has been four years in the making.
Its adoption follows well-attended public hearings in April and last October.
Faust said the document was “modified significantly” after the first public hearing, particularly concerning lakeshore setbacks.
“We integrated all the suggestions about classification of property,” she added. “The only place we couldn’t was where it’s Agricultural Land Reserve and people wanted it called industrial. We can’t do that because the provincial regulations supersede ours. But wherever we could we tried to accommodate whatever changes people wanted because it’s their plan.”
Faust says she’s not sure if the changes fully satisfied those who made the requests, but assumes people who didn’t come to the subsequent meeting nor make further submissions are happier than with the previous draft.
Minutes from the two-hour April meeting in Harrop show that during formal submissions, five people spoke in favour of the plan and five against. Of the written submissions, 30 were in support and 17 opposed.
Faust says some neighbourhoods felt they didn’t get an opportunity to discuss specific policies affecting them, but she still hopes they can be addressed. She envisions revisiting the plan yearly and incorporating further amendments.
Blewett residents, who also fall within the same portion of the regional district, opted out of the plan following a plebiscite early this year.