Bylaw takes onus off district

Regional District of North Okanagan is fed up with doing the province’s work

The Regional District of North Okanagan is fed up with doing the province’s work.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee is creating a new subdivision servicing bylaw that forces  provincial ministries to get more directly involved in the process.

“It puts the responsibility on agencies that are responsible for the issues,” said director Rick Fairbairn.

The Ministry of Transportation has the ultimate say on subdivisions and roads, while the Interior Health Authority oversees water and septic. However, RDNO staff have been left doing much of the behind-the-scenes work on these matters.

“We are redefining where the responsibilities lie and it will free up our staff to deal with the issues we’re responsible for,” said Fairbairn.

Among the issues RDNO actually has control over are lot sizes, property setbacks and building safety.

Bob Fleming, EAAC chairperson, admits public expectations have been placed on RDNO because the government is not fulfilling its mandate.

“We’re getting a lot of questions and heat from individuals although we didn’t have the responsibility,” he said.

The proposed bylaw has now been sent to government ministries for feedback.

“It will be interesting to see what their opinion is,” said Fairbairn.