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Controlled Fire Fuel Debris Burning Saturday 

The Regional District of Central Okanagan advises a controlled burn is underway today (Saturday, February 6th, 2016) in the southern portion of Glen Canyon Regional Park in West Kelowna. 

Crews are disposing of fire hazard debris collected as part of a large fuel modification project on just over 15-hectares in the regional park between the trail entrances at Hebert and Brown Roads and Westbank Centre Park, south to the Gellatly Road parking area.

With appropriate permits from West Kelowna Fire/Rescue and other authorities for fire fuel hazard reduction and a custom venting forecast from the BC Wildfire Service which predicts good venting conditions at the site, piles of fire hazard wood debris are being burned today in the regional park even though open burning is not allowed today in the Central Okanagan. 

Further controlled burns will likely be required to dispose of fire hazard debris collected in fuel modification projects in Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park south of the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97-C) near Peachland and on a 10-hectare section of Rose Valley Regional Park off Pettman and Bowes Roads in West Kelowna. 

All local fire departments and local media have been advised of today’s activity in the park and will be notified when further burning takes place.

(February 6, 2016)

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Biosolids Trailer Flips, Spill Clean Up Nears Completion

Emergency spill response crews worked through the night and thanks to a prompt, coordinated response are close to completing efforts to clean up an accidental spill of materials from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

At approximately 1:00 pm yesterday, a semi-truck operated by a Regional District of Central Okanagan contractor was hauling Class B biosolids from the RDCO plant when it hit an icy patch and overturned on the Riley Dam portion of Big Bar Road near Jesmond B.C., approximately 10 kilometers from its destination at OK Ranch. 

When alerted to the accident, the Regional District’s biosolids management subcontractor immediately enacted its Emergency Spill Protocol, notifying the Ministry of Environment of the spill, securing the site.   Working in coordination with Ministry staff, Spill Response crews are taking all the necessary steps to remove the spilled materials and soil from the site.

Emergency crews freed the truck driver who was pinned in the cab.  He was taken to hospital in 100 Mile House with minor injuries and has since been released.

The trailer contained approximately 20 cubic meters of biosolid material.  Emergency Services and Spill Response crews worked through the night to remove the remaining biosolids from the trailer and remove the truck from the accident site.  Since this morning (Friday), the response team has been cleaning up the approximately five cubic metres of biosolids that spilled from the trailer.

The truck’s fuel tanks were not damaged in the accident and spill response safely removed all fuel from the truck.  An unknown quantity of engine oil, hydraulic oil, and coolant leaked from the overturned truck.  Spill Response crews are working to isolate the site, however partially frozen waterways have proven to be a challenge when setting booms and retention systems. 

RDCO’s Class B biosolids are a treated, nutrient rich by-product of the wastewater treatment process used to enrich soils and stimulate plant growth.  Biosolids naturally return carbon and nutrients to soils, improve fertility, and reduce wind erosion.  The treatment and usage of biosolids is strictly regulated by the Province, and the product is consistently monitored for safety and quality.  Biosolids are non-toxic and not considered to be a hazardous material under transport regulations in BC.

Because a very small percentage of pathogens may still be present in treated biosolids, the public is advised to keep themselves and pets away from the area until the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health Authority are able to rule out any potential health risks.

Over the next week, the Regional District will continue coordinating with health and environment regulatory agencies to monitor the cleanup and water quality in Big Bar Creek.

(February 5, 2016)

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Acting Fire Chief for North Westside Fire Rescue

A new Acting Fire Chief has been named by the Regional District of Central Okanagan to serve residents in the North Westside area.

Effective February 29th, Jason Satterthwaite will take over the Chief’s duties on an interim basis for the paid on-call department serving communities within the North Westside Fire Protection Area.  Satterthwaite has been the Deputy Chief since 2014.  This interim appointment is required with the resignation of Chief Doug Gardiner who is leaving to pursue an opportunity with the Fraser Valley Regional District.

Gardiner has been Chief of the North Westside department since August 2013.

Regional District Fire and Inspection Services Manager Dan Wildeman says, “Jason’s interim appointment as Acting Chief will ensure that there’s consistency in leadership and training for those paid-on-call fire department members who are committed to serving their community.  He played a major role last summer in the department’s response and assistance to Wilson’s Landing fire during the Shelter Cove/Westside Road wildfire.  North Westside residents can rest assured that dedicated and trained members of the fire department will continue responding to calls for medical first response and fire emergencies from their neighbours.”

Wildeman adds, “We wish Doug well in his new endeavour and thank him for his leadership over the past three years.  He’s helped to raise the department’s membership ranks and expand training opportunities for members of the paid-on-call department and is leaving it in a very good position for the future.”

A formal process to select a new Chief within the North Westside Fire Department will begin soon.

(February 3, 2016)

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Glen Canyon Regional Park Section Closed Thursday

A section of Glen Canyon Regional Park will be closed Thursday as crews remove a hazardous tree.

The large cottonwood is next to the trail leading from the parking area off Gellatly Road to the first staircase in the south section of the park.   The tree removal is part of the fire fuel modification project underway on approximately 15-hectares within the park located in West Kelowna. 

While the hazard tree is being removed Thursday, the parking lot and trails leading into this area will be closed.   For their safety and that of the workers, park visitors are asked to stay out of this area.

For more information on this fuel hazard reduction project please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks.

(February 2, 2016)

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Register Now for Spring Break Camps

Registration is now underway for this year’s Nature Detectives Spring Break Camps at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads). 

Indoor and outdoor activities for children aged five to seven will run from 9:00 am to 12 noon, March 15th to 17th and again March 22nd through 24th.    

All camp participants will take part in nature play, crafts and games that will bring out their inner naturalist as they make new friends!  Each morning during the camps they’ll discover park trails and ponds, listen to stories about animals and our environment.

Please register in advance at the EECO.  The cost is $75 per youngster for each three, half-day camp session. 

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO at 250-469-6139, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or drop into the centre at 2363A Springfield Road in Mission Creek Regional Park.

(February 2, 2016)

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Dangerous Dog Appeal Denied

An appeal by a Peachland dog owner to prevent a court ordered humane euthanization of his dangerous dog has been denied.

In his written judgment, the Honourable Mr. Justice Ronald Skolrood upheld an earlier decision by a provincial court judge that determined the Presa Canario named ‘Jake’ was a Dangerous Dog as defined by Section 49 (10) of the Community Charter.  The late Honourable Judge Anne Wallace found that ‘Jake’ was a grave danger to other dogs and will seriously injure or kill them if loose around them and that there is no way of managing or eliminating that risk short of humane euthanization.

‘Jake’ and a Pitbull named ‘Buddy’, both owned by Drew Panton of Peachland, were at large and involved in an unprovoked attack on New Year’s Day 2015 on a leashed 12 year old Lhasa Apso/Wheaton terrier.  As a result of the severe injuries it suffered in the confrontation, the dog was humanely euthanized.

‘Buddy’ was also declared to be dangerous but was returned to his owner under strict control conditions.

In his ruling, Mr. Justice Skolrood upheld the provincial court decision to impose conditions on Mr. Panton to manage ‘Buddy’ in order to ensure public safety and that Judge Wallace had discretion to make her order for an enclosure. Mr. Justice Skolrood dismissed the Regional District argument that the dangerous dog be kept, when outside the owner’s residence, in the type of enclosure as required by the provisions of the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw No 1343.

Justice Skolrood’s judgment agrees with the Regional District that under its bylaw, it may seek to recover from Panton impound costs of providing care and shelter for ‘Jake’ from the date of Judge Wallace’s order on September 3rd to the date of the appeal.

Link to Reasons for Judgement: www.regionaldistrict.com//media/192154/PantonAppealJudgement_Jan16.pdf

(January 19, 2016)

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Burn Cleaner, Reduce Smoke and Save Money

A $250 rebate is a great incentive for anyone planning to replace their old wood burning appliance with a new cleaner burning unit.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan Air Quality Wood Stove Exchange program is once again offering rebates thanks to a grant from the B.C. government in partnership with the BC Lung Association.  The $250 rebate is available while funds last for those people purchasing a new, cleaner burning EPA/CSA certified appliance (wood, pellet, electric or gas burning hearth product) and recycling their old, polluting wood burning appliance. Participating Central Okanagan retailers will take care of recycling your old stove and provide all the necessary paperwork for the rebates.   View Program Poster

Air Quality Coordinator Nancy Mora Castro says, “Through the program over the last five years, we’ve exchanged 244 old, inefficient, smoke-belching wood stoves in the Central Okanagan.  That’s resulted in 61 fewer tons of particulate matter (PM) and more than 88 tons of carbon monoxide (CO) from polluting our air each year.”

She adds, “Smoke from residential wood burning produces particulate matter that affects the health of our residents and contributes to poor local air quality. Those particulates are small enough to get into our lungs leading to respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema and to various forms of heart disease. Many valley homes are still equipped with inefficient conventional wood stoves or heat their homes with open hearth fireplaces. Replacing those with a natural gas unit will be ideal, but if they have to burn wood then a newer, cleaner-burning certified technology is the right choice,” she says “homeowners could burn a third less wood while cutting smoke emissions by up to 90%.  That’ll help us all breathe a little easier.”

In addition to the $250 rebate, during March and April participating retailers may offer an additional rebates of $150 or more off the suggested retail price of new wood burning appliances. Some retailers may extend the additional rebates for the entire year, so be sure to check with your local retailer for more information.  To take part in the program, visit one of the participating retailers in the Regional District of Central Okanagan, or contact the Regional Air Quality Program for more information.  A list of participating retailers can be found at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

(January 19, 2016)

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Independent Review of Fire Services

The Regional Board has given support in principle to the recommendations outlined in a third party review of RDCO Fire Services.

The detailed and extensive independent review was conducted during a four and a half month period in 2015 by POMAX Consulting. 

The Board sees the recommendations as positive steps forward for the four paid-on-call fire services and their dedicated volunteers who serve as firefighters within the Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside and Wilson’s Landing communities.  Most of the recommendations support continued coordination and administrative support by the Regional District to standardize bylaws, operating guidelines and policies providing increased consistency across the departments.  The Board believes the report recommendations will create opportunities for financial efficiencies through the effective coordination and management of training, purchasing and operations of the four departments.   Information about RDCO Fire Services

One major theme from the report suggests reorganizing each of the four RDCO paid-on-call fire departments into one unified department under one fire chief (role of the Manager of Fire and Inspection Services), while the existing four fire departments would become four fire districts that could include deputy fire chiefs or divisional chiefs in each district.

The Board has asked staff to present a report outlining the implications and possible action for each of the 22 recommendations.  

(January 15, 2016)

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'Don't Forget My License' - 2016 Dog License Renewals Underway

More than 21,000 Central Okanagan dog owners will be receiving their annual renewal notice in the mail and are encouraged to ‘Don’t Forget My License’.

As this is a leap year, owners have an extra day (until Monday, February 29th) to renew their dog license for 2016. Starting March 1st, all renewals are subject to an additional $20 late charge and owners could be faced with a $300 fine for not having a valid license.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “It’s easier than ever to keep a dog license current. We encourage dog owners to go online anytime at regionaldistrict.com/doglicense and safely and securely pay for their 2016 license.  Just look for the account number and access code on the renewal notice, log in and complete the payment transaction.”

He adds, “If they’d rather renew in person, all they have to do is take the renewal notice to the Regional District’s office (1450 KLO Road), the Regional Dog Pound (890 Weddell Place), any local government office or the Kelowna branch of the SPCA”

 “There are many benefits for licensing a dog,” Smith says.  “$20 for a dog that’s spayed or neutered, $60 if it isn’t, provides dog owners with a variety of benefits. ”

Here are the top 10 Reasons to License Your Dog:

  1. Public safety — provides service to our community 24/7, including investigation of dog attacks and protection from dangerous dogs.
  2. License fees contribute to the operation of the Dog Pound so that food, shelter and veterinary care can be provided for lost and homeless dogs 365 days a year.
  3. License fees supports the Central Okanagan SPCA spay and neuter program, public education initiatives and dog adoption services.
  4. It is easy to reunite a dog if it gets away—contact information is on file, and a dog will spend less time at the Pound.
  5. It provides a one-time free ride home, just in case a dog does get out.
  6. An owner saves ($20 late renewal fee) if a license is renewed early.
  7. Licensed dog owners receive a My Dog Matters Responsible Dog Owners rewards card that can be used for discounts and special services at more than 50 local businesses listed on the mydogmatters.ca program website.  This can help offset the annual cost of a license.
  8. If an owner moved to the Central Okanagan and has a current dog license with another BC local government, a Central Okanagan license will be provided at no charge for the remainder of the current year.
  9. RDCO Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw 1343 requires all dogs to be licensed.
  10. Accurate statistics help local governments plan for services such as leashed and unleashed dog parks.

There’s plenty of information available about dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership in the Central Okanagan.  Check out regionaldistrict.com/dogs for information about the Regional Dog service and what to do if you lose or find a dog.

(January 7, 2016)

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My Waste App Makes Managing Household Waste Easier

Need a personal reminder in the morning to take out the trash? Do you wonder if that plastic packaging is recyclable and where to take it?  There’s an app for that!

The Regional Waste Reduction Office reminds residents of a free mobile phone and tablet application for recycling and garbage, called My-waste.

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says downloading the My-waste app is free and easy. “If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can get the Central Okanagan’s garbage, recycling and collection details right at your fingertips, anytime you want them. The My-waste app lets you set up regular reminders for garbage, recycling and yard waste collection. The app also has hundreds of items listed so you can search what-goes-where, from packaging to hazardous wastes to bulky items.. You can customize it to get notifications and reminders of schedule changes and special waste reduction events.  It’s like having the Living Greener Recycling and Waste collection calendar right on your smartphone!”

Download the My-waste app at regionaldistrict.com/mywasteapp or search My Waste in the app store on your mobile device. There are currently versions of the My-waste app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices.

Stewart explains, “This is another convenient way for us to connect residents with local waste disposal and recycling programs. We update information on the my-waste app as needed during the year, so it’s always current. You never need to forget your collection day and that should lead to increased recycling. Everybody wins!”

Stewart adds information on collection schedules can still be found on the Regional District website, and for those wanting a hard copy, calendars can be downloaded from that site. Living Greener calendars are also direct mailed to residents who pre- register and order one ahead of time, plus printed copies of the calendar are available at all local government offices in the Central Okanagan and numerous other public facilities, Visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle for a full list of pickup locations..

For more information on the My-waste app, visit regionaldistrict.com/mywasteapp, email recycle@cord.bc.ca or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.

(January 6, 2016)

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Winter Conditions and Curbside Waste Collection

Winter snow, ice and cold can create challenges at the best of times. The Regional Waste Reduction Office would like to remind you during heavier snow fall and poor road conditions, your garbage and recycling collection may be delayed. Your waste hauler, OK Environmental Waste Systems is doing its’ best to ensure regular collection schedules are maintained.                    

If your regular collection day is missed, collection will take place on the following day, weather conditions permitting. In extreme weather conditions, collection may be delayed more than one day.

Slippery roads, especially on sloped or more challenging streets are not safe for large collection vehicles, workers, or residents. The first priority is to clear roads to make them safe, and make collection possible. Residents whose garbage or recycling has not been picked up should continue to leave it out for collection, and the waste haulers will pick it up as soon as possible. (Do not bring your carts back in until they have been emptied to ensure your collection is not missed.)

In winter months, it may be necessary to alter the regular placement of your carts to ensure the collection vehicle can reach them.  For a quick overview visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JelY_7-lE9o

  • Find or clear an unobstructed site to put your carts out for collection. (Please note: It is the responsibility of the resident to clear appropriate space at the curb/roadway in front of their property for placement of carts.)
  • Put carts as close as possible to the street, without obstructing the street, sidewalk or bike lane. (Often placing your carts on either side of your driveway allows for greater ease for the collection trucks and for you.)
  • Keep carts off the travelled portion of the roadway so as not to interfere with snow plows- do not place carts in a location where the snow plow will hit them.
  • The cart should be no closer than three feet from any obstacle, parked car, or other cart - an arm’s length spacing is required between each cart. (When considering cart placement, it’s important to note the automated arm on the collection truck can only reach a maximum of eight feet from the truck, and up to one foot off the ground.)
  • Do not place carts behind or on top of snow banks.
  • Please have your carts out for collection by 7 a.m. (Avoid placing your carts out  the night before collection and bring them away from the road as soon as possible, to avoid interfering with snow plows often working in the very late and early morning hours to clear our roadways.)
  • Clear your cart of snow and ice to ensure the lid opens when cart is tipped.

General Safety: As the waste collection carts are equipped with wheels, please use extra caution when wheeling them in snowy and icy conditions.

Tn _waste _Winter Cart Placement

For more information on proper placement and how to handle your carts in winter conditions, visit www.regionaldistrict.com/recycle .

(January 5, 2016)

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'Your Guide to Regional Parks' Winter-Spring Edition

The start of a new year means you can find out what’s happening in our Regional Parks with the new Winter-Spring edition of ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks 2016’.

It’s available online at regionaldistrict.com/parksguide, or you can pick up a printed copy at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park; at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road) in Kelowna or over the next few weeks at other local government offices and visitor information centres.

“Our ten-page colour foldout outlines everything about our activities, events and programs in our Regional Parks right through May,” says Communications Officer Bruce Smith. 

He says, “Our free ‘Explore Your Parks’ program offers a monthly Saturday morning and Thursday afternoon opportunity to join a park interpreter, get your family outside and active, while learning about the park that’s being visited.  These outings are available for everyone thanks to the volunteers from the Community Recreational Initiatives Society, who provide barrier-free access to our parks.  To discover more about or request CRIS services, check out adaptiveadventures.ca.”

Smith adds, “While most of our programs are offered for free, we do encourage people to pre-register by contacting the staff at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan or EECO at 250-469-6139 or email eeco@cord.bc.ca.  During the winter months, please make sure you’re properly prepared for the conditions with appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes and traction or anti-slip devices.   Some participants find poles help with their balance and stability and give them an additional workout.”

“Over the next few months,” he says “we’re continuing with our ‘Families in Parks’, ‘Going Wild at the EECO’ and ‘Eco-Art at the EECO’ programs.   Eco-Art is a free drop-in program at 11:00 each Saturday morning that encourages you to create works of art with recycled and natural materials. There’s no need to pre-register for this program, just drop into the EECO a few minutes early.   All ages are welcome to take part!”

Smith says, “The winter-spring guide also has details about the spring ‘Tracks Walking Club’ program in Mission Creek and Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Parks and our ‘Nature Detectives Spring-Break Camps’ in March for youngsters age five to seven.  Pre-registration is required for each of these popular programs.”

And of course, the Parks Guide also features a two-page colour map showing each Regional Park location and some of the amenities that are available.   For more information about any Regional Parks program and our detailed online section for Regional Parks, visit regionaldistrict.com/parks or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 5, 2016)

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Story Time at the EECO

Tuesday mornings are ‘Story Time at the EECO’.  The free, weekly one-hour drop-in program for children aged three to five and their care-givers returns for the winter months.

The younger ones love the nature-themed stories and songs followed by an art or craft project. The program is an excellent way for preschoolers to interact with others while learning more about the natural world. 

‘Story Time’ runs each Tuesday morning at 10:00 from January 5th to March 8th.  

The EECO or Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan is located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads. For more information please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parks, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 2, 2016)

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Explore Your Parks

Our Regional Parks are meant to be enjoyed all year round, so dress for the season, bring along some anti-slip/traction devices and ‘Explore Your Parks’.

Join an interpreter as we get a winter perspective on a different Regional Parks each month.  These free outings are held in conjunction with the Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS) to provide barrier free access to our regional parks.  To request the services of CRIS volunteers visit www.adaptiveadventures.ca

Each event require pre-registration and takes place on the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, February 13th join us between 10:00 and 11:30 am as we find out about ‘Winter Wonder in the Forest’ at Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads. Learn about what happens to plants and animals during the winter months. 
  • Thursday, February 18th join us between 1:00 and 2:30 pm as we find out about ‘Winter Wonder in the Forest’ at Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads. Learn about what happens to plants and animals during the winter months.

To register your family for these free events, or other ‘Explore Your Parks’ events, please drop in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.

For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 2, 2016)

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'Going Wild at the EECO'

Students of all ages are welcome to join in as we are ‘Going Wild at the EECO’.

This is a perfect activity to fill that after school void.  During the hour long program, there’s a hand-on activity designed to teach students of any age about a new nature theme each time.  It’s free and there’s no need to register, just drop in and have fun!

  • Tuesday, February 9th – we’ll so some snow sleuthing and detective work by exploring ‘Animal Footprints’. 
  • Thursday, February 25th – we’ll learn about ‘Animal Homes’.

The one hour program begins at 3:00 pm in the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads

For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(January 2, 2016)

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Regional Grant-in-Aid Applications Available

Application forms are now available for community organizations that would like to be considered for Regional Grant-in-Aid funding. 

Forms are available for download below:   

Completed applications and supporting documentation must be received by Friday, February 5th, 2016.  Late applications will not be received or considered.

(December 11, 2015)

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Regional District Rejects Developer Allegations

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has received notice of another court action brought against it by Kelowna Mountain.

The Regional District rejects all claims made against it and will vigorously defend itself at the appropriate time in court should this case proceed.

Two previous attempts by Kelowna Mountain Development Services Ltd. to challenge the planning authority of the Regional District have been rejected by the courts.   The most recent failed bid was in September 2014 when the Court of Appeal dismissed the case, upholding the validity of the RDCO Zoning Bylaw No. 871.

RDCO Board Chair Gail Given says, “It’s unfortunate that yet again, Central Okanagan taxpayers will be footing the bill for a legal challenge from this developer.   I can say that the Regional District will actively defend itself against these unproven and false accusations that are without merit.  I can also confirm the Regional District has yet to receive any application from the developer for consideration by the Regional District.  Any further comments will be respectfully reserved for court.”

Link to Court of Appeal Decision CA041635 – September 19, 2014

(November 4, 2015)

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Regional Parks Fuel Modification Projects

Over the next several months, two large fuel modification projects will be completed in a couple of Regional Parks.

Starting Monday, November 2nd, crews will be removing dead and hazardous trees, ladder fuels, brushing vegetation and spacing trees on just over 15-hectares throughout the southern portion of Glen Canyon Regional Park in West Kelowna.   This work is taking place in the park from the trail entrances at Hebert and Brown Roads and Westbank Centre Park, south to the Gellatly Road parking area.  View Treatment Area Map

It’s also anticipated that starting in mid-November as conditions allow, several hundred piles of wood debris scattered along a 2.5-kilometer section of Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park will be burned.  These danger and hazard trees were collected in the clean-up of the park and trail just outside Peachland following the 2012 Trepanier wildfire.  View Treatment Area Map

Please be aware that trails through these various work areas may be temporarily closed.  Park users are asked to watch for signs advising that trails are closed and that they stay out of any closed areas of the park.  Where it is accessible for equipment, collected fire hazard wood debris will be chipped. 

However, in areas where equipment is not able to reach, debris pile burning will be conducted in accordance with Air Quality and Open Burning regulations when either open burning is allowed in the region or venting and air quality are favourable with a custom site venting forecast from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Once a decision is made to proceed with burning on a particular day, local fire authorities, media and neighbourhood organizations will be advised.  The information will also be available on the Regional District website.

As well, residents are also reminded that during the winter months, when open burning is allowed, the BC Wildfire Management Branch may burn collected debris piles in a portion of Rose Valley Regional Park above Bear Creek Road off Bowes and Pettman Roads.  Its crews removed hazard trees and brushing last year as part of a larger, ten-hectare multi-year fuel modification project.

For more information visit the Regional District Parks Services webpage regionaldistrict.com/parks, email parks@cord.bc.ca or call 250-469-6232.

(October 29, 2015)

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Greenway Section Closed for Major Mission Creek Restoration Project Construction

Two upcoming Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) activities will have a short-term impact on part of the Mission Creek Greenway recreational trail and are part of a large-scale habitat restoration project.  View Map

First, the south side of the Mission Creek Greenway between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive will be closed until the project is complete next year. This will  ensure residents’ safety while giving contractors unrestricted access to the construction site. The closure is expected to be implemented during the week of October 19th and extend until project completion, possibly March, 2016. The Greenway on the north side of the creek will remain open during construction.

Second, some trees and vegetation adjacent to the creek will be removed over the next few weeks to make way for dike reconstruction that will start in November. Tree removal specialists―guided by recent MCRI tree assessment outcomes―will work with project engineer Don Dobson to save trees and vegetation wherever possible.

The Phase-1 project, which includes the section of creek between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive, has two major components. The first is realignment of the dike on the south side of the creek to renaturalize flow; the second is instream work to enhance fish and wildlife habitat. In preparation for Phase-1 work, properties along the creek were purchased and technical studies were undertaken to determine the creek’s geotechnical makeup and hydraulic capacity. A Baseline Biophysical Inventory was carried out over the last year to identify and quantify wildlife habitats and populations, and species at risk. Inventory outcomes are reflected in dike design, which was created with input from UBC Okanagan engineering students. Most recently, the dike realignment footprint was surveyed by City of Kelowna staff, and the tree assessment was completed. A few more construction-related activities will be undertaken over the next few weeks in preparation for dike reconstruction, which is being done with all the necessary approvals, permits and best practices to ensure environmental protection. 

Learn more about this project and the work of the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative at www.missioncreek.ca.

(October 15, 2015)

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Open Burning Season Begins in the Central Okanagan

Open burning season in the Central Okanagan will begin this Thursday, October 1st

In order to reduce the impact on our air shed, open burning is restricted to those property owners that are eligible and have a permit from their local fire authority and only when air quality and venting conditions are appropriate. 

Under Regional District and local fire bylaws when the fire hazard allows, permitted open burning may start October 1st and must be complete on April 30th.  Fire chiefs may change the dates depending on the fire hazard in their area.

Eligible property owners must obtain a permit from their local fire department.   Those eligible to burn within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral area fire districts may obtain a permit by calling the Regional District at 250-469-6223 (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted) weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays.

Before lighting any fire, property owners with a valid permit must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN).   It will tell them if open burning is allowed on a particular day.  Both the Venting and Air Quality conditions must be good in order for burning to occur within Central Okanagan fire jurisdictions.  This information will also be available each day after 8:00 am at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.  Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.

Violators could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire.  Residents are encouraged to report anyone illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.

Those property owners eligible to burn should follow this Best Practices Guide to reduce smoke:

  • If conditions allow open burning, ignite fires after 10:00 am when venting conditions are usually more favourable;
  • Only burn dry pruning’s and branches and stumps and branches dried for a minimum of two years;
  • Make smaller piles with good air ventilation for more efficient burning.

All Central Okanagan property owners regardless of property size may use other options to dispose of their yard waste.   The bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program is underway through the end of November and residents are reminded to only place leaves, grass, pine needles and small pruning’s inside their wheeled yard waste cart with the green lid closed.  Residents may also use the year-round free yard waste drop off program at either the Glenmore landfill (Open seven days a week 7:30 am to 4:45 pm) or at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal Centre (Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Friday through Monday).  Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimeters or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at either location.  When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered.  As long as yard waste is separated from regular garbage, loads exceeding the maximum weight up to 20 centimeters in diameter will be charged $40.00 per tonne while those with a larger diameter will be charged $65 a tonne.  As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers.  Some may also pick up yard waste for disposal.

Agricultural burning is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation and accounts for most of the burning permits issued in the Central Okanagan.   However, before starting any fire farmers must also call 1-855-262-2876 (BURN) or visit regionaldistrict.com/airquality to ensure burning can take place on a particular day.  The Regional Air Quality Program is working in cooperation with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.   In addition, the program offers a Best Management Practices handbook and DVD to help farmers.

Central Okanagan residents are reminded to check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions regarding campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood fire burning devices.

(September 28, 2015)

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Climate Action Annual Report

Through the participation in the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) the Regional District of Central Okanagan publicly shares the accompanying CARIP Progress Reports each year.

The reports details actions taken during 2014 and proposed actions for 2015 related to the Regional District's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

(June 1, 2015)

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Westside Regional Wastewater Plant Biosolids

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is aware of the ongoing peaceful protest along Highway 8 in the Merritt area. 

For the second time since the information protest began yesterday, a truck hauling biosolids from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant has voluntarily turned back and not delivered its load to the approved BioCentral composting facility in a rural area west of Merritt. 

The Regional District is one of the suppliers to the composting facility and since October 1st last year has been sending approximately 100 wet tonnes of biosolids each week from the Westside plant to be further treated and composted under the BC Organic Matter Recycling Regulation for Class A land application. 

In light of the current situation, the Regional District will temporarily send biosolids from its wastewater treatment facility to an approved, active land application site with its previous supplier in the rural area outside of Clinton.

The Regional District is committed to working with its suppliers and partners and remains optimistic this situation can be successfully resolved.

(March 11, 2015)

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Document Download Problems? 

Recently the Regional District has become aware of periodic problems regarding the inability of some users of our website to open Adobe PDF documents that had been previously accessible.  They've received an error notice saying that the document they were trying to open is not available. 

We understand that the problem has been caused by a recent Microsoft Internet Explorer Security update.  This update on the user's computer has broken the ability of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program to open and access previously downloadable PDF documents in Internet Explorer. 

Should this problem occur on your computer system, please download and install the latest free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.  You can find this by following this link:  http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html or by clicking on the Adobe Reader icon on the bottom right corner on each page of our website. 

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your continued support of the Regional District of Central Okanagan website. 

For information or queries about our website please contact:  webmaster@cord.bc.ca 

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@cord.bc.ca
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)