Director's Corner - Aimee Watson

Director’s Updates – May 18, 2022

In an effort to keep residents informed on my work, here are our board week meeting agenda’s and links to the meetings should you wish to attend.

We have Rural Affairs, Joint Resource Recovery and Board this week. I will link the access and agenda per meeting below with highlights on items Area D residents may be interested in.

Rural Affairs: Items of interest: Item 6.11: Planning Procedures and fees bylaw- this is our annual review of procedures and how fees are applied to various applications. My focus on this file is the increasing cost of applications post work being done is rising. There is a lack of knowledge for some new residents who may not be aware of what land use regulations apply when they purchase land in electoral areas. This lack of knowledge and surprise can be very difficult for our staff to bring to the attention of new landowners, we do hope to see residents investigate applicable land use regulations before embarking on development or possibly even purchase.

Official Community Plan consultation process: consultation as a local government is generally legislated through the local government act and it is still but we now have amenability in how and when. This item will rescind, and should the committee and board agree, we will have a new policy on consultation. The policy itself is in the agenda package.

Agricultural Policy review: RDCK has 11 electoral areas with one planning department. This policy is one of many that needs constant updates and review due to shifting regulations within agricultural land reserve and cannabis. Staff do refer this out to various organizations that have direct involvement or would be impacted, I am appreciative of both the Central Kootenay Policy Council, the Creston Valley agriculture committee, and the cannabis economic development council.

Building Inspection Policy: this item has similar notes that I made for the planning procedures bylaw, however this is directing staff to create a policy not a bylaw. Purpose of the request is due to address issues building inspectors face when visiting rural properties that are either unaware or not interested in the building code. While the code is, in my opinion, onerous and too stringent, the inspectors are not in charge of making the rules and respect is critical to good solutions.

You can find the agenda and link to the meeting here

Joint Resource Recovery Committee: My primary note of attention on this committee and agenda is how much it costs to manage waste. Zero waste needs to start when we put cash down for an item or we throw a piece of organics in the garbage. Not everyone has the privilege of affluence in choice, so I do completely understand there are options not available to all, we will always need a waste management system. However, if we are serious about taxes going down and our environmental concerns, I challenge all of us- including myself, to make very wise choices in how we manage our personal waste.

Board Meeting

This is our main meeting, a few items of interest for you.

We are pleased to welcome our very own Kaslo InfoNet Society as the board delegation this month. Looking forward to hearing from Isaac Maxfield, new executive Director for KiN.

For subregional committees involving Area D, you can read the minutes of Area D advisory planning commission, item 4.1.1.Kaslo and Area D Economic Development commission meeting minutes: 4.1.2I have written a not so short Director’s report, item 4.4.2. This report includes updates on Association Kootenay Boundary Local Government conference/Emergency Services/The Sinixt Way of Life/Mosquito services open house and the Columbia River Treaty. This report also includes my annual list of funding allocations for Community Development funds. I do plan these grant funds a year in advance as the amount I have available for 24 unincorporated communities is insufficient, most of Area D rural communities do not have even basic fire or water services thus this planning in advance is critical. Further to basic services, most of our relied upon front line services and recreation opportunities within rural areas are predominantly volunteer operated, I also want to do my best to ensure they have the fulsome amount of funds I can provide.

On the funding front, our annual Community Initiatives and Affected Areas recommendations are in front of the board. To see what your application amount is recommended as for approval, please see item 9.2.1And finally, I do have a Directors Motion specific to our serious concerns with our paramedics. My Director report outlines further details. To read the motion, see item 11.1