Area E to look at developing official community plan

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
June 17th, 2010

Over the past several years the topic of planning for portions of Electoral Area E of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has been raised by both by advocates and opponents. At a meeting to be held next Wednesday, June 23 in Bridesville, property owners and residents in the Anarchist Mountain, Bridesville, and Mt. Baldy Road areas will get a chance to learn what the development of an official community plan for their area might mean.   Mark Andison, director of planning for the RDKB, said that the purpose of the meeting is to provide background information on what planning is, to discuss the potential benefits to the community, and gauge community interest.   “Some residents are interested in establishing land use controls in the area to protect the interests of property owners from the potential impact of land uses that could be established in that area in the absence of any regulations,” said Andison. Andison said that there is currently no official plan or zoning bylaws in the area except for the Mt. Baldy resort that does have zoning and an official community plan.   Andison said that there are three official community plans for portions of area E – Big White ski resort, Mt. Baldy ski resort and Jewel Lake – so they can establish boundaries as a part of the process of considering developing this plan.   The pressure for creating a plan came from the application from an entrepreneur to establish a commercial motor cross track and campground a couple of years ago. A number of the neighbours at that point in time raised the idea of establishing a land use plan and regulations to protect property owners from uses that they felt might have negative impacts in the future.   “There was ameeting held two years ago to discuss that,” said Andison. “There’s been continued interest since that time so we’re going to have a more detailed meeting to discuss what would be entailed in an official community plan process.”   Andison hopes that the RDKB will get a sense if people support the introduction of planning to the area from the meeting and if it moves forward the planning department will take on the process for an OCP which can take over one year to complete.   Currently the only land use controls for the area are the Agricultural Land Reserve and regulations of other Provincial bodies, with limited local input into decision making. Experience in planning for other areas under the Regional District’s jurisdiction has shown the desire of communities to retain the rural character of their communities particularly those qualities that originally attracted residents to the area.  

The meeting will take place Wednesday, June 23, at 7:00 p.m. at the Bridesville Community Hall, 5726 Bridesville Townsite Road.  

Categories: Politics