Cherryville and rural Lumby residents have taken steps to protect their lifestyle.
The Regional District of North Okanagan board has adopted the new official community plan for Areas D (rural Lumby) and E (Cherryville).
“It’s about lifestyle and preserving what we have,” said Eugene Foisy, Area E director.
The OCP considers parks and recreation, culture, trails, affordable housing, home-based businesses, forestry and the environment.
“There are a number of agricultural considerations in the plan,” said Rick Fairbairn, Area D director.
The process leading up to the OCP being adopted included considerable public consultation.
“This has been a wonderful effort. This is a watershed moment,” said Patrick Nicol, RDNO chairperson, of the new planning document.
Farming and food related issues are on the agenda.
The Regional District of North Okanagan board has instructed staff to develop terms of reference for an agriculture committee.
“Agriculture is huge in Area B in terms of dollar production,” said Bob Fleming, BX-Swan Lake director.
The committee could consider land use activities, how solid waste programs can benefit farmers and the regional district lobbying senior government for support for farmers.
“We’ve been told there are a lot of inconsistencies with (government) bodies impacting agriculture and they want us to streamline things,” said Jackie Pearase, rural Enderby director, of farmers.
Fleming points out that the long-term viability of agriculture is also important to more urban areas.
“The preservation of farm land preserves Vernon’s viewscape,” he said.
MLA’s activities praised
Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster is being recognized for his role in expanding recreational opportunities locally.
The Regional District of North Okanagan recently received about $890,000 from the provincial government for upgraded recreational facilities in Greater Vernon and Lumby.
“Our MLA has done a tremendous job in supporting our efforts,” said director Rick Fairbairn of Foster.
Among the projects are improved washrooms at Kin and Paddlewheel parks in Vernon and a new water park in Lumby.