The process and the plan for Area E

I must admit I was somewhat surprised at Jim Demers’ letter.

Re: “Planning in Area E a bad idea,” Letters, November 9

I must admit I was somewhat surprised at Jim Demers’ letter. As a builder he must know that there are many provincial building code regulations required to build a home or barn, such as setbacks from highways septic tanks, water courses, etc. To infer a community plan will regulate these things doesn’t make sense. Area E is not “free” of these requirements.

The Official Community Plan for Area E does not specify the placement or colour of buildings nor in any way interfere with the current legal use of people’s property. There is little in the way of regulations in the document. There is a requirement for new larger housing developments of five or more small subdivided lots to develop in a way that considers the surrounding neighbourhood as well as a requirement that new industrial buildings do the same. As well there is a requirement that development by water sources are certified by an environmental professional to protect the waterside habitat for fish and other species because the habitat on the West Arm has been rapidly decreasing. Basically the plan’s strength is that local residents get to comment on large changes to their community.

The community plan is a statement of what the community looks like at this time and how it wants to grow into the future. Just as people plan their finances or monthly budget, an Official Community Plan looks at the present as to the strengths and challenges in our community with an eye to the future. It is not zoning and there are no plans to implement zoning. The Regional District of Central Kootenay has no vested interest in whether Area E has a plan or not.

Initiated in September 2008 by the community of Harrop-Procter in response to several large land use changes, a community plan for Harrop-Procter was on the RDCK priority list when I took office in December that same year. It was decided to see if all of Area E might be interested in planning because creating a community plan is a time consuming process and it was not likely other parts of Area E could be added within a reasonable timeframe if they wanted to be involved after the fact. The draft Official Community Plan for Area E is the culmination of three years of community outreach through meetings and the results of a survey that was sent addressed to each property owner.

To our surprise almost all communities in Area E showed a lot of interest in managing growth and development and there was also interest in a community plan. Work carried forward to integrate the values expressed in the community survey and at meetings into the draft community plan.

At every meeting in Blewett there have been some individuals who have said “no plan.” However survey results from the area showed their views do not reflect the majority. Some people in Blewett organized to come to the public hearing October 24 to say “stop the plan.” Many had good questions. People from other areas also made good points that can be included in the plan.

All of the other rural electoral areas in the RDCK have an Official Community Plan in all or part of their area. It is impossible to address land use disputes or unwanted effects of development in a community on an ad-hoc basis and therefore the choices made today about planning will determine the future.

A recommendation to postpone adoption of the community plan until requested changes can be made and a definitive answer found on Blewett’s participation will be on the November 16 RDCK Agenda. For more information: rdck.bc.ca/development/planning/projects/area_e_land_use_planning.html.

Ramona Faust

RDCK Area E Director

 

 

Just Posted

Little Wagon Theatre brings comedy to Nelson streets

There will be various performances of It’s Jest a Show throughout the weekend

Hometown gold for rowers at Nelson Regatta

Rosie Velisek and Jesse Harold won three golds Saturday

LETTER: Time to roll back power prices

FortisBC is overcharging customers, Andy Shadrack argues

Taekwondo is a family obsession at Nelson’s Yom Chi Martial Arts

The Jordahls have found success with their Baker Street dojang

Nelson city hall will fly Pride flag this year

Council will develop a policy for future flag decisions

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Fredericton widow swears at Trudeau during condolence call

Widow of man killed in Fredericton shooting says she swore at Trudeau during condolence call.

Tim Hortons promises leaky lids on coffee cups to be phased out

Tim Hortons looks to rebuild its brand with better lid, new marketing campaign

‘There’s been a lot of devastation:’ man whose family lost homes in B.C. fire

The provincial government declared a state of emergency Wednesday as more than 550 wildfires burn in every corner of B.C.

Capsized tug now out of the water at the mouth of B.C.’s Fraser River

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor capsized late Monday.

Aheadbyacentury looking for Triple Crown breakthrough in the Breeders’ Stakes

The consistent Aheadbyacentury has $513,800 in career earnings, including $311,250 this year thanks in large part to his Triple Crown performances.

Most Read