This electoral area encompasses the mostly rural, unincorporated area on the east side of Okanagan Lake, outside the municipal boundaries of the City of Kelowna and District of Lake Country. (Map)
There are a number of communities within the Electoral Area including Ellison, Joe Rich and neighbourhoods along the south end of Lakeshore Road and June Springs.
Land use in the Joe Rich area is regulated by the Joe Rich Rural Land Use Bylaw and the remainder of the Electoral Area is regulated by the RDCO Zoning Bylaw, which is supplemented by the South Slopes Official Community Plan and Ellison Official Community Plan.
There are also two Fire Protection Areas with paid on call fire services provided by the Ellison Fire Department and Joe Rich Fire Rescue Department.
Electoral Area News
Area Size: 127,109 hectares
Population: 3,824 (2016 Census)
Electoral Area Director: Mark Bartyik - Email - 250-808-3715
Local Services and Estimated Tax Requisition and Rates (2019 Financial Plan)
2018 Economic Profile - Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission
Electoral Area Community Parks:
Electoral Area News
2020 - 2024 Budget Timeline (October 28th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has received information on the meetings and process for approval of the 2020 – 2024 Budget. This includes two opportunities for in-person public comment and input on the mornings of February 20th and March 12th. As well, opportunities for feedback will be available online and through direct contact with Financial Services staff. Final consideration and adoption is scheduled for the evening Regional Board meeting on Monday, March 23rd.
Regional Housing Needs Assessment
The Regional Board has endorsed the Regional Housing Needs Assessment. It’s a recent requirement of the Local Government Act and was identified as a key initiative in the five-year Regional Growth Strategy Priority Projects Plan. The Assessment was developed over the past 11 months through collaboration with local government partners, the public and other stakeholders as a descriptive analysis of the current housing needs and issues across the region. The Regional Housing Needs Assessment may be used as a planning tool and resource.
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Fuel Mitigation Project on Closed Philpott Trail (September 25)
The Philpott Trail remains closed due to hazards following the 2017 Philpott Road wildfire and residents should stay out of this area. The planning for the Philpott Trail restoration is in progress.
In 2018/2019, as part of the ongoing preparations for future trail restoration, the salvageable burnt trees along sections of the 3.3 kilometer trail area was harvested.
Last month, RDCO contracted Ntityix Resources LP to carry out fuel mitigation work on 2.1 hectares of the Philpott Trail, approximately 1.5 km section of the trail located on the southside of Philpott Road.
The fuel mitigations works will be starting in early October 2019 and expected to be completed by the end of this year, weather permitting. The fuel mitigation work along the trail and historic flume will involve removing trees, limbing, pruning and burning.
This fuel mitigation work on the 1.5 km section of the Philpott Trail is being carried out in conjunction with Tolko Industries’ Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) fuel mitigation project in Joe Rich.
The public should watch out for forestry crews, equipment and respect flaggers and signage to ensure the safety of all workers and the public.
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Ellison Community Centre Agreement (August 26th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has approved a new Operating and Recreational Programming Delivery Agreement with the Ellison Parks and Recreation Society for the Ellison Heritage School Community Hall. The new agreement runs to the end of 2022 and the Society will continue scheduling of all activities and use of the hall. The Society is responsible for all operations and maintenance of the facility while the Regional District is responsible for major capital improvements to the hall.
Gas Tax Funding Received
The Regional Board has received a letter from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) which administers funding to local government from the Canada-BC Community Works Fund. The RDCO will receive just over $1,080,617 in gas tax funding to be allocated to the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas for eligible projects. The funding includes a one-time payment identified in the Federal budget of $705,850.
Secondary Suite Application
The Regional Board has adopted a Joe Rich Rural Land Use Bylaw amendment to allow a secondary suite at 7520 Goudie Road in the Joe Rich area. The applicant plans to add a secondary suite in the basement of the existing dwelling on the property located in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.
The Regional Board has approved the following application:
- Development Variance Permit for 1960 Huckleberry Road – VP-19-07 for C & J Sandercock
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Land Use Contract Discharged (July 29th Regional Board Meeting)
The Regional Board has adopted a Land Use Contract and Zoning Amendment bylaws affecting a portion of the Scotty Creek neighbourhood in the Ellison community of the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area. The Land Use Contract for the subdivision has been discharged and replaced with equivalent land use and zoning designations for 163 properties in the neighbourhood. This includes single detached housing designation for 161 properties as well as appropriate zoning for the Ellison elementary school and Scotty Creek Community Park.
Agricultural Land Commission Application
The Regional Board has given conditional support to an application made to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for a property at 3231 Old Vernon Road. The property owner wishes to add one new modular unit as accommodation for migrant workers which requires Non-Adhering Residential Use approval from the ALC. The Board asks that the Commission ensure large adjoining areas of agricultural land are preserved; confirmation of the number of temporary farm worker accommodations on the property and RDCO Board approval of a zoning bylaw amendment.
Electoral Area Grant-in-Aid
The Regional Board has approved the following Central Okanagan East Electoral Area Grant-in-Aid:
- $700 for Scotty Creek Annual Summer BBQ
Program and Service Highlights
The Regional Board viewed a video update highlighting various service and program accomplishments from April through June this year aligning with the new Board Strategic Priorities 2019 - 2022. The video can be viewed on the RDCO YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/regionaldistrict.
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Strategic Priorities 2019 - 2022 (July 18th Regional Board Meeting)
The Regional Board has approved a new Strategic Priorities 2019 – 2022 document. It identifies four priority areas of the Regional Board: Transportation and Mobility; Sustainable Communities; Economic Development and Environment. It will guide staff as they develop operational work plans and Capital projects that align with those priorities. The document also outlines how success will be measured in the priority areas over the next four years. View the document online at www.regionaldistrict.com/Board
Emergency Program Updates
The Regional Board has adopted a new Emergency Program Bylaw. It reflects the current operational guidelines and experiences learned in responding to larger scale emergencies over the past 24 plus years, when the first bylaw was adopted.
In addition, the Regional Board has given three readings to a new Preparation for Emergencies Bylaw. This bylaw also updates and modernizes the original bylaw from 1991 and includes a description of the service, reflects participating areas and provides additional cost recovery methods. This bylaw will be considered for final adoption by the Board after receiving approval from participating local governments and the Provincial Inspector of Municipalities.
Ellison Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw
The Regional Board has given first reading to a Zoning Amendment Bylaw to replace a Temporary Use Permit for existing agricultural worker housing. The applicant is requesting the site specific rezoning for the portion of the property at 4401 Old Vernon Road which provides accommodation for approximately 100 seasonal workers. A Public Hearing will be scheduled and advertised once the applicant meets a number of conditions including receipt of several draft covenants by the Regional District.
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Land Use Contract and Zoning Amendment Bylaws for Ellison area (June 24th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has given first reading to a proposed Land Use Contract Amendment Bylaw and a Zoning Amendment Bylaw. The bylaws are required to discharge Land Use Contract No. 247 affecting 163 properties in the Ellison area including an irrigation district facility, elementary school and park within the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area. New land use designations are proposed for each property under the Regional District Zoning Bylaw including one each for Park and Open Space; Institutional and Assembly and 161 as Single Detached Housing. The Local Government Act requires that all Land Use Contracts will be terminated on June 30, 2024 and all local governments must provide zoning for affected properties before June 30, 2022. A public hearing will be scheduled and advertised for the proposed bylaws.
Financial Disclosure Statements
The Regional Board has approved the 2018 report outlining remuneration and expenses for elected officials, their alternates and 30 staff whose remuneration was greater than $75,000. In 2018, the remuneration of all Regional District employees totaled just over $8.7-million. The report also outlines payments totaling over $19.9-million during 2018 to 100 suppliers for goods and services exceeding $25,000.
A copy is available for viewing online at regionaldistrict.com/budgets and at Financial Services in the Regional District office, 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna
The Regional Board has approved the following applications:
- Development Variance Permit (VP-19-03) – P and B Uppal – 2711 and 2735 Lakha Road
- Development Variance Permit (VP-19-04) – R and C Denison – 3595 Westside Road N.
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New Water Rates Start July 1st (June 13th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has adopted bylaws adjusting water rates for customers of the six water utilities operated by the Regional District. The changes in both the User Fees and Asset Renewal Fees will take place on July 1st and in January 2020, 2021 and 2022. The last water rate adjustments were in January 2016. Customers were informed of the new rates by letter and to subscribers of the RDCO water e-notification program. As well, two information meetings were held for residents affected in the Falcon Ridge and North Westside communities. The Regional District operates the Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Sunset Ranch, Falcon Ridge, Upper Fintry and Star Place water systems with just over 1,000 connections.
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Boundary Redefinition Request (May 27th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board supports a request from the City of Kelowna to redefine its boundary to include four properties within the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area, next to Kelowna International Airport. If approved by the Province, the four parcels would be included within the boundary and jurisdiction of the municipality. The properties are identified for future expansion of the airport in the Airport 2045 Master Plan
Joe Rich Community Hall Agreement
The Regional Board has approved a new Operating and Recreational Programming Agreement with the Joe Rich Ratepayers and Tenants Society for the Joe Rich Community Hall. The retroactive agreement runs from January this year to the end of 2021 and the Society will continue scheduling of all activities and use of the hall. The Society is responsible for all operations and maintenance of the facility while the Regional District is responsible for major capital improvements to the hall and maintenance of the grounds and nearby sports box. The Regional District provides an annual facility programming fee to assist the Society with operating costs of the hall.
Petting Zoo Temporary Use Permit
The Regional Board has given conditional approval for a Temporary Use Permit that would allow a petting zoo business to operate on a portion of a property at 5932 Old Vernon Road. The applicant is requesting the three year permit to establish the Kangaroo Creek Farm business with the intention of submitting an Official Community Plan amendment and rezoning application. Prior to receiving the permit, the applicant must complete a list of conditions in order to address issues raised by various agencies and some neighbouring property owners.
Chute Lake Road Telecommunications Tower
The Regional Board supports a request by Freedom Mobile to construct a 50-metre communications tower in a private property at 5819 Chute Lake Road. The Board also directs staff to amend the Development Applications Procedures Bylaw to take into account any future communication tower requests.
Secondary Suite Application
The Regional Board has given first reading to the Joe Rich Rural Land Use Amendment Bylaw to permit a secondary suite on a property at 7520 Goudie Road. The applicant would like to add the suite within the basement of an existing single family dwelling. The current RA Rural Acreage designation of the property does not allow secondary suites. A Public Hearing will be scheduled and advertised once the applicant provides additional information regarding the water source and sewage system.
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Proposed Water Rate Updates (May 9th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has given first reading (May 9th) to bylaws that propose increases in water rates for customers of the six water utilities operated by the regional district. The last water rate adjustments took place in January 2016 and if the new rates are approved, changes in both the User Fees and Asset Renewal Fees would take place on July 1st this year and in January 2020, 2021 and 2022. Customers will be informed of the rate adjustments over the next month before the Regional Board considers final approval of the new rate schedules in June. The Regional District operates the Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Sunset Ranch, Falcon Ridge, Upper Fintry and Star Place water systems with just over 1,000 connections.
Secondary Suites Bylaw Amendments
The Regional Board has given first readings to bylaws amending secondary suite regulations and permitted zoning designations for both the RDCO Zoning Bylaw No. 871 and the Joe Rich Rural Land Use Bylaw No. 1195. The amendments would clarify secondary suite regulations and strengthen servicing requirements while continuing with the current process of the Board considering individual secondary suite applications. The Board approved a motion for a moratorium on secondary suite rezoning applications until the bylaw amendment process is completed. A Public Hearing will be scheduled and advertised for these proposed bylaw changes.
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Music Festival Temporary Use Permit (April 29th Board Meeting)
The Regional Board has given conditional approval for a Temporary Use Permit to allow the Gonzo Music Festival at Sunset Ranch Golf Course. This is the second year for the event which is expected to attract 1,000 people. It will be held on Friday, June 14th from 3:30 – 10:30 pm. Among the conditions for Board approval: the applicant is required to obtain necessary permits from the Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Branch, RCMP and Interior Health and that all parking be contained on site.
FrontCounter BC Referral Applications
The Regional Board has given conditional support for two applications made to FrontCounter BC from the Recreation Sites and Trails Branch of the Ministry of Forests.
The first application proposes to maintain and legally designate Crown land as a recreation site or trail for existing facilities at the Dog House Cabin Recreation Site and Priest Creek Cabin Recreation Site in the vicinity of Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park, east of Kelowna on the McCulloch Snowmobile Trails.
The second application proposes to formally designate an approximately 4.2-hectare recreation site and amenities at the Greystokes Staging Area that have been developed in partnership with the Kelowna Snowmobile Club.
Each application would bring current site uses into compliance with Provincial regulations.
Program Highlights for January through March
A video is available highlighting various service and program accomplishments during the first three months of the year. The video can be viewed on the RDCO YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/regionaldistrict.
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2019 - 2023 Financial Plan Adopted (March 25th Regional Board Meeting)
The Regional Board has adopted its 2019 - 2023 Financial Plan bylaw. The 2019 operating budget totals just over $58.92-million which includes $18.8-million in Municipal Finance Authority debt payments including $18.5-million on behalf of member municipalities. This year $9.5-million will be spent on important capital and infrastructure projects including $1.9-million for flood recovery work in several regional parks. The details may be viewed online at: www.regionaldistrict.com/budgets.
The Regional District is the local government for residents in the two electoral areas providing them with 28 general services such as Fire Prevention, Planning, Community Parks, Building Inspection and Bylaw Enforcement. These services account for an average tax impact of $508.33 for property owners in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area. The general service tax increases would have been higher if it hadn’t been for a successful appeal by the regional district to the Okanagan Regional Library which agreed to use more accurate population statistics in its funding allocation formula, further reducing the average household’s proposed tax increase. Large reductions in requisitions for Electoral Area Planning and Electoral Area Expenses have partially offset increases for Electoral Area Fire Prevention, Building Inspection, General Bylaw Enforcement and Regional and Community Parks.
Specific communities within the electoral areas also fund additional services received from four paid-on-call fire departments, three community halls and six water systems that connect almost 1,000 properties.
Regional Hospital District Budget Approved
The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District Board has adopted its 2019 – 2023 Financial Plan. For the third straight year, there is no increase for the average homeowner and no increases are anticipated for the next five years. The average residential home assessed at $739,000 will pay $183.02 towards capital improvements and new health equipment in the Central Okanagan. The 2019 budget includes $11.39-million for health-related capital project funding.
Community Works Fund Approval
The Regional Board has approved the use of Gas Tax Community Works Funds for six new projects in the electoral areas this year. In the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area, $72,500 will be used to fund three upgrades to the Ellison Heritage Community Hall, $32,000 for asset management improvements to the Joe Rich Community Hall and $15,000 for fire hydrants in the Falcon Ridge water system.
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Development Variance Permit (February 25th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has approved a Development Variance Permit for a property in the third phase of the Sunset Ranch development. The permit allows an increase in the maximum height of five engineer-designed and certified retaining walls constructed on the property adjacent to Seminole Road and Riviera Drive.
New Community Parks Bylaw (February 14th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has adopted a new bylaw regulating Community Parks in the two electoral areas. The bylaw replaces the previous one that was last amended in 2006 and reflects changes in the parks system. The new bylaw increases the evening hours that the 20 smaller community parks will be open year-round. It also updates the no smoking restrictions to prohibit vaping and gatherings of 25 or more people will require a permit. As with the recently adopted Regional Parks bylaw, the Parks Director has the authority to issue permits for First Nations ceremonial, cultural and social purposes in RDCO Community Parks.
Secondary Suite Zoning Adopted
The Regional Board has adopted a zoning amendment bylaw to allow a secondary suite in the basement of a residence on an agricultural property at 5731 Anderson Road.
Electoral Area Directors 2019 Conventions
The Regional Board approved the attendance and expenses of Directors Mark Bartyik and Wayne Carson for the Southern Interior Local Government Association, Union of BC Municipalities and Federation of Canadian Municipalities conventions.
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Secondary Suite Regulations (January 10th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has directed staff to move forward with a technical stakeholder review and to prepare bylaws for a proposed secondary suite policy application approval process. That would make the Regional District consistent with other Okanagan local governments. Last year, a public survey was conducted for electoral area property owners on the potential changes which include permitting secondary suites in specific zones by policy rather than a formal zoning bylaw amendment process that requires Board approval. As well, the requirement for connecting breezeways would be eliminated and a one-hectare minimum lot size would be implemented to address existing and future servicing requirements. The Board has asked for additional information on how the proposed changes could impact rentals, septic and other site servicing requirements and that following the technical review, the proposed changes will be presented for consideration by the Governance and Services Committee.
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