IN THE SPOTLIGHT Nov. 28: RDKB Area D takes first step with community plan

The first step in the RDKB planning and development department Area D official community plan review kicked off on Nov. 2.

The first step in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) planning and development department Area D official community plan review kicked off on Nov. 2 with a tour to various sites by committee members.

The purpose of this tour was to discuss land use issues and concerns with a visual as an aid.

It has been 12 years since the last review was made to the official community plan.

This is routine part of the process for the RDKB. The Official Community Plan (OCP) is intended to act as a guide for development and expansion of RDKB Electoral Area D. Since 1999, there has been eight amendments applied for.

The process for review will be led by an appointed steering committee of local Area D residents and RDKB staff.  The entire process is expected to take up to two years.

Property owners in Area D can expect to receive a questionnaire pertaining to their expectations, likes and concerns of the lifestyle of Area D.

As there are some that exclude the receipt of junk mail in their boxes, we will ensure that copies will be available at the RDKB office on Central Avenue in Grand Forks or you can call to get forms mailed direct to your address.

The returned forms will be compiled and reviewed by the committee. Public workshops will be held, at which time the survey results will be made available.

The steering committee will be asked for input on subjects such as greenhouse gas reduction targets, natural, agricultural, and heritage resources, sand and gravel deposits, solid waste management, residential, commercial and industrial designations and recreational land uses to name a few.

Once these are discussed, a draft revised OCP will be produced. This draft is referred to various agencies, such as the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Interior Health Authority, the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and also to the Agriculture Land Commission. An open house for the general public to offer comments is also part of the process.

Once the steering committee is satisfied that the document reflects the input from the community and various agencies, the document will go through the formal adoption process before the entire board of the RDKB.

Area D comprises one quarter of the land in the RDKB and has the largest population of the five areas. We have four provincial parks and one newly formed regional park within the area.

In the survey done in 1997, before the last OCP review, residents described their quality of life as good to excellent, citing rural character and the rural lifestyle as well as peace and quiet as the most positive attributes of residing in Area D.

It will be interesting to see what this questionnaire will tell us.

Just a reminder that winter driving is upon us. Please prepare yourself for conditions.

Check the road conditions at www.drivebc.ca leave a lot of time to arrive, maintain a safe following distance and remember that those speed limit signs are for perfect, dry summer road conditions NOT for winter roads.

Remember both you, I and our families share that road and we all want to arrive safe.

– Irene Perepolkin is Area D director for the RDKB and can be contacted at any time at 250-442-3817 or ireneperepolkin@gmail.com