Rural areas map out plans

Shuswap River sustainability plan, BX/Swan Lake/Silver Star OCP review and study into impact of rural properties joining municipalities

Steps are still being taken to ensure the long-term integrity of the Shuswap River.

Work continues to be done on the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Shuswap River watershed sustainability plan.

“The First Nations are making a commitment to make available some of the work they have done in the watershed,” said Rick Fairbairn, Electoral Area Advisory Committee chairperson.

“That’s a big step forward.”

Three core issues have been identified for the Shuswap River: protection of the environment, recreation and process and governance.

These themes will help the regional district shape policies and actions within the overall planning process.

Public process outlined

BX-Swan Lake and BX-Silver Star residents will have a role in long-term planning.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee has agreed to a public participation strategy for the Areas B and C official community plan review.

“Public participation is a critical component of an OCP review given that the intent of an OCP is to provide a long-term vision for the community, reflecting the community’s values for the area and their aspirations with regard to land use planning,” said Anna Page, sustainability co-ordinator.

Among the opportunities for information and input will be a website, a survey and meetings.

Study scope decreases

A study into the impact of rural properties joining municipalities won’t be as comprehensive as anticipated.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee will remove a social analysis from phase two of the annexation impact study so there is enough money to proceed with phase three, which is a protocol agreement the province could possibly use for such matters.

“It doesn’t mean that the social component is not important but it’s more difficult to tease out in a meaningful way,” said director Mike Macnabb.

The budget for phase two of the study is $102,000 while the cost for phase three is $20,000, about the same as the specific price tag for the social analysis.