Director's Corner - Aimee Watson

Aimee Watson’s Directors Report, Nov. 13th

Directors Report

1. Mining application
2. Commission Appt’s
3. Kootenay Timber Supply Coalition
5. Zoning
6. Renewable Kootenays

Plan1. Mining applicationA mines act application for 2700 tonnes of Sand, Gravel and Quarry Operations is in process for a development at the entrance to Kaslo, in Area D. The area has no zoning but does fall under the Area D Comprehensive Land Use Bylaw.The gravel and sand from the proposed pit will be used to develop and improve the land owned by Brenton Properties Ltd .Total mineable reserves over the life of the mine: 38,450 m3 with annual extraction of 2,700 tonnes. Total size of the pit will be 0.7 Ha with the intention that post excavation of the area, the land will be reclaimed and developed for residential.The community was alerted to the application via an ad in the Pennywise but accessing the application was a challenge. Answers through the mines email address provided was not and has not been adequate. It was directed that the applicant is responsible for providing information to the community, including what the process is. Input was due within 30 days from announcement and what occurs next is not known.Many questions came my way and my best response was to direct inquiries to the applicant. The primary request in the input process is to host a public meeting, Brenton indicates he is planning one that includes a site visit. Once the Ministry of Mines confirms COVID protocols for the meeting and site tour, he will alert the community.As Director, I have a service case analysis out for a noise bylaw. Brenton indicates in his application hours of operation are usually from 7 am -5pm. Occasional weekend work occurs.
2. Area D Commission AppointmentsArea D has several commissions that are seeking new appointments. All positions are voluntary. If you would like to inquire, send me an email.• Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission (EDC), meets once a month in person or virtual.• Glacier Creek Regional Park Commission, has met once a year for budget discussions.• Advisory Planning Commission (APC), has not met in person for years, most correspondence is via email.Commissions are a unique tool to ensure that local services are relevant to the people using them. Each commission has its own level of engagement, some with more than others. I would like to see Glacier Creek and the APC be more engaged commissions. The EDC does have an active status with monthly meetings, a strategic plan being created and several large projects on the go.If you are interested in taking an active role in local services, I look forward to hearing from you.
3. Kootenay Timber Supply Collaborative CoalitionIn April 2019, Premier Horgan sent a letter to forestry company Canfor inviting them to take the initiative to form Timber Supply Area (TSA) coalitions. The goal of the coalitions is to develop positive and forward-looking visions for a successful industry focused on the mid-term timber supply that will support workers, Indigenous Nations and communities. The Premier’s letter focuses on a vision for the industry that supports new investment, collaboration and innovation.The Kootenay Forest Sector Collaborative will develop clear recommendations by December 2020 to strengthen the forest sector in partnership with Indigenous Nations, local government, BC government, labour and industry.Purpose: The Collaborative’s representatives aim to provide input and build strong recommendations to help meet the purpose of the CollaborativeSee attached community update from the collaborative.
4. Columbia River Treaty Local Government CommitteeWith the election in limbo, discussion on the treaty have been put on hold. However, operational actions are proceeding. The BC Treaty Team is seeking a contractor to facilitate the process of exploring potential governance options for a modernized Treaty. The RFP for this contract closed on October 16. As well, the Indigenous-led ecosystem function work continues at an operational level. A newsletter will be forth coming as well as hosting a Virtual Public Town Hall to provide a summary of 2020 Treaty progress and answer questions. This event will be targeted to Basin residents but open to all who have an interest in the Treaty, regardless of geographic location.See attached release from the CRT team for details.
5. ZoningArea D is comprised of 24 unincorporated communities across a large land base, majority of communities are rural and remote. In the last few years, several communities have had a variety of developments occur that have raised questions and requests for local land use regulations. Majority are businesses within residential clusters, others are related to congestion and mix use that is not compatible.Area D adopted a Comprehensive Land Use Bylaw (CLUB) in 2014. A CLUB combines the foundation of a community plan with zoning embedded for some portions of the plan. Ainsworth has had zoning since 1997. As such the zoning in the CLUB is only applicable to Ainsworth. When the issues of incompatible development arose in the recent years, residents were dismayed to learn that there was little local authority in controlling or even directing developments in their choice of location.While many parts of Area D would not benefit from zoning due to their density, or lack thereof, other areas would. In order to review which communities would like to consider zoning, it is necessary to involve all of Area D. To start this discussion, the RDCK will be conducting an engagement process in early 2021. This process will begin with community discussions on zoning 101; what is it? How does it work? What does it do and not do? Within these discussions, I hope to be able to identify which communities are interested in moving forward to develop zoning and those that are not. Only those communities who show a strong interest will continue in the discussions.
6. Renewable Kootenay PlanThe West Kootenay Eco Society wants your input on renewable energy priorities for your community. Along with the RDCK, Castlegar, Kaslo, Nelson, New Denver, Rossland, Silverton, Slocan and Warfield have made the commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050; each community is hosting a webinar this November for the public to learn more about the plan and to provide input.You are invited to join the public webinar to provide your feedback on the priorities for the renewable energy transition in your community. The full schedule of webinar dates for each community are available online at

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