Central Okanagan East

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.

Area Information

Electoral Area News

Information

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 (2021 Financial Plan)

2018 Economic Profile - Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Electoral Area Community Parks: 

  • Scotty Creek - playground / multi-sport surface
    • during winter months public ice rink is available weather permitting. For the status of the rink, conditions and other information please call 250-469-6300
    • Please note in response to the COVID pandemic, Interior Health and Provincial health and safety guidelines currently prohibit the operation of this outdoor rink.  Should health orders change, RDCO will evaluate potential operation. 
  • Philpott Trail (closed due to 2017 wildfire - fuel mitigation work scheduled weather permitting)
  • Lakeshore Road Lake Access
  • Dave’s Creek Corridor
  • Three Forks
  • Joe Rich Community Park (next to Joe Rich Community Hall) - playground / sports box / picnic area
    • during winter months public ice rink is available weather permitting. For the status of the rink, conditions and other information please call 250-469-6300.  
    • Please note in response to the COVID pandemic, Interior Health and Provincial health and safety guidelines currently prohibit the operation of this outdoor rink.  Should health orders change, RDCO will evaluate potential operation.

Community Halls:  

Water Systems

Provincial Amenities

Roads/Highway/Ditches

The Regional District is not responsible for issues regarding roads in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.  The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has jurisdiction over public roads within the Regional District.

If you have concerns about road conditions, plowing and sanding or general maintenance, please call your highways maintenance contractor:  AIM Roads at 1-866-222-4204 or email aimroads@acciona.ca.

Video

When a Regional Board meeting begins a Live Video link will be available for that meeting in the Upcoming Meeting agenda section of the RDCO website.  When available a link to the Video recording will be posted in the Past Meetings section for the individual meeting date.  Links at rdco.com/agenda

 

Electoral Area News

Proposed Quarry Application -  Regional District staff have received a referral from the Ministry of Energy & Mines for a proposed sand and gravel quarry in the community of Joe Rich. The application is for a 75 acre parcel above Hwy 33 near Heartland Ranch. 

At its meeting June 10 the Regional Board resolved not to support the application and provide the Ministry with its reasons.

Ultimately, the Province is the decision maker on this project but the Regional Board will consider whether to support, support with conditions, defer or not support the application as a referral agency. This will be based on policies in place for the area such as the Official Community Plan.

For additional background, please find:

As outlined in the applicant’s ad posted May 19 in the Daily Courier requesting input from the public correspondence can be sent to:

  • Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
    Chief Inspector of Mines
    Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
    South Central Region
    2nd Floor 441 Columbia Street
    Kamloops, BC, V2C 2T3

Or mmd-kamloops@gov.bc.ca

You may also want to cc: for information the applicant at:

You may also want to cc: for information the Regional Board at:

Okanagan Regional Library borrowing (July 26 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board has adopted two bylaws allowing the RDCO to borrow a maximum of $8-million from the Municipal Finance Authority on behalf of the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) to build a new branch in West Kelowna.  Final adoption follows the successful completion of an Alternative Approval Process which saw three electors submit response forms opposing the borrowing.  At least 16,478 eligible electors had to indicate their opposition in order to require the Regional Board to hold a referendum before approving the bylaws. The ORL has agreed to pay all debt and costs associated with the borrowing which will not have any impact on the RDCO budget.

Corporate Officers Appointed

With the adoption of two new bylaws, the Regional Board has approved the appointments of Corporate Officers.   Karen Needham takes on the role of Corporate Officer for the RDCO, while Corie Griffiths, Director of Corporate Services will be the Deputy Corporate Officer.

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Regional Park management plan (July 8 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board has approved a new management plan for the 92-hectare Mission Creek Regional Park.  The plan was created with public and stakeholder involvement and provides a long-term vision to help guide future park development and management opportunities.  The plan estimates about $3-million in capital park development and asset renewal costs (subject to budget approvals) over the next 20 years and includes:

  • Management zones and carrying capacities
  • A conceptual park development plan
  • Park management goals and objectives
  • A 20-year phased implementation plan

Updated playground maintenance policy

The Regional Board approved an updated policy to guide maintenance and management of playgrounds in RDCO parks.  The policy complies with the most recent 2020 Canadian Standards Association guidelines for the maintenance of existing playgrounds and the installation of new playground equipment within parks operated by the Regional District.

Air Quality Radon Challenge program

The Regional Board approves continuing the collaboration of the Air Quality program and stakeholders and supporting proposed next steps to help reduce radon gas exposure in the Central Okanagan.  Last fall, the program coordinated the distribution of approximately 1,400 free radon gas test kits to home owners across the region through the initiative involving Take Action on Radon, BC Lung Association, Interior Health and all local governments. Participants receive their radon gas test results and information on possible steps to take in order to reduce radon gas levels in their home. It’s anticipated additional free test kits will be made available this fall supporting efforts to raise awareness about the naturally occurring radon gas, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canadians. 

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2020 Financial Disclosure Schedules (June 28 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board has approved the 2020 report outlining remuneration and expenses for elected officials, their alternates and 41 staff whose remuneration was greater than $75,000.  In 2020, the remuneration of all Regional District employees totaled just over $9.4-million.  The report also outlines payments totaling over $14.4-million during 2020 to 96 suppliers for goods and services exceeding $25,000.

A copy is available for viewing online at rdco.com/budgets and at Financial Services in the Regional District office, 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna.

Agricultural Land Commission application

The Regional Board does not support and will not forward a non-farm use application for consideration of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).  The owner of a property at 2770 Schram Road applied to the ALC to use a portion of an existing barn on the property for commercial storage. The Board supported staff’s recommendation and did not support the application in light of a bylaw complaint and concerns of a number of agencies about storage of vehicles that resulted in a letter from the ALC requiring an immediate cease of non-farm uses at the site.

Planning Applications Considered

The Regional Board considered the following planning applications:

  • The Regional Board did not give 2nd & 3rd readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-268 (Application Z21/03) for 5631 Rittich Road (A. & C. Patton, owners).
  • Adoption of Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-266 (Application Z21/01) at 5060 Whelan Road (L. & D. Ketler, owners) – A site specific amendment to permit an accessory home on the property within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

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Joe Rich quarry referral application (June 10 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board will advise the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation that it does not support a proposed quarry application in the Joe Rich area. The application was referred to the RDCO along with other agencies by the Ministry which will make any final decision on the proposal for a 28.4-hectare property along Highway 33 owned by Joe Rich Properties Ltd.  The Board resolution also provides its reasons to the Ministry for not supporting the application including concerns about the impact on traffic and highway safety, environment and habitat protection, water supply, slope stability and geotechnical issues and dust and noise from the proposed operation, all supporting the concerns raised by area residents and other referral agencies including the Black Mountain Irrigation District.

Public Engagement Process supported

The Regional Board has approved a Public Engagement Policy and endorsed a framework to guide public consultations. The policy is designed on international best practices and will assist in guiding opportunities for public participation, problem solving and decision making with the RDCO. This work will see a full framework and online engagement portal launched later this year.

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Kamloops Residential School Acknowledged (May 31 Regional Board meeting) 

The RDCO has joined with communities across the country in half-masting their flags, acknowledging the tragic discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Residential School. Chair Gail Given says our hearts are heavy and thoughts are with residential school survivors who must once again be forced to reflect on memories of a childhood which no child should experience. “We know that we are only at the beginning.  We hope in the months ahead there will be names identified to give voice to these children, their families and their people enabling grieving and closure.  It is part of our Truth and Reconciliation journey at the Regional District to learn about and acknowledge the experiences of the members of our Indigenous community.  Flags will remain a half mast as a symbol of remembrance of this heart rendering discovery and in support of a more inclusive and caring community for our Indigenous members.”

Alternative Approval Process authorized

The Regional Board has approved using the Alternative Approval Process for proposed bylaws for establishing a service and authorizing a loan on behalf of the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL). The new service proposes construction of a new library facility and the loan authorization bylaw would allow the RDCO to borrow $8-million from the Municipal Finance Authority on behalf of the ORL for a new West Kelowna branch. Residents that support the proposal do not have to do anything. Those opposed to the proposed bylaws must submit a completed Elector Response Form no later than 4 p.m. July 12. At least ten per cent of the estimated 164,780 eligible electors must respond to require the Regional Board to hold a referendum before approving the bylaws. Information and forms for the proposed borrowing bylaws are available at rdco.com/aap.

Gas Tax Fund Payment

The Regional Board has received a letter from the Union of BC Municipalities of a single payment to the RDCO from the Gas Tax Agreement Community Works Fund.  Instead of the usual two half payments, the RDCO will receive one for $783,945.29 that will be allocated to each electoral area to be used for eligible local projects.

Financial Plan amendments 

The Regional Board approved amendments to the 2021-2025 Financial Plan allocating the remaining $349,183 COVID Restart Grant funding, to move a $480,000 capital tender purchase for Ellison Fire to 2021 and updates other grant revenue/related expenses.

Planning Applications Considered

The Regional Board considered the following planning applications:

  • Adoption - Joe Rich Rural Land Use Bylaw No. 1195-24 (RLUB-20-02) for 8991 Highway 33 E (K. & P. Bartha, owners) - To add a secondary suite within the current single detached house and has satisfied all requirements identified by the Regional Board.
  • Adoption – Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-264 (Z20-/06) for 4379 Black Road (M. Basra, owner) - A site specific amendment to permit an accessory home on the property within the Agricultural Land Reserve and has satisfied all requirements identified by the Regional Board.
  • 2nd and 3rd readings for Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-266 (Application Z21/01) at 5060 Whelan Road (L. & D. Ketler, owners) – A site specific amendment to permit an accessory home on the property within the Agricultural Land Reserve.  Final adoption will be considered following receipt of a registered covenant.
  • 1st reading for Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-268 (Application Z2103) for 5631 Rittich Road (A. & C. Patton, owners) - A site specific amendment to permit a cannabis production facility by expanding an existing accessory building on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve. A Public Hearing will be scheduled and advertised after the applicant meets a number of conditions.

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Tolko Harvesting Operation - starting April 28 active logging will be taking place in three cutblock areas in the vicinity of Philpott Road affecting a portion of the High Rim Trail (north of Philpott Road) when conditions allow until July.  Please be aware of equipment and logging trucks along the road while this work is underway.  Please observe any trail closed signage.

2020 Audited Financial Statements (May 13 Regional Board meeting) 

The Regional Board has approved the 2020 Audited Financial Statements for the Regional District of Central Okanagan and Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District.  Copies along with a Guide to Understanding Financial Statements are available for viewing online at rdco.com/budgets.

Building Inspections Service update

The Regional Board has received a report reviewing the Building Inspection service and supports the current delivery model for the program.  The Board also gave two readings to new Building and Development Application Fees and Charges bylaws.  The proposed bylaws will be referred to the development community for comments before the Board considers final adoption.

Agriculture Grant applications supported

The Regional Board supports a request from staff to apply for two grants to help complete a Regional Agricultural Strategy. The strategy for agriculture is one of the important projects identified in the Regional Growth Strategy Priority Projects plan and would help with knowledge sharing, data collection and consistent regional policies for the region’s agricultural food system.

Regional Air Quality program update

The Regional Board has received a detailed update on all the programs and services provided through the Regional Air Quality program.  The Board directs staff to bring forward strategies to reduce fine particles (PM2.5) not visible to the naked eye but are the most serious air pollutant in BC and prepare an updated Smoke Control bylaw (No. 773) for Board consideration. The 2021-2025 Financial Plan also increased the Air Quality budget by $40,000 a year to help meet demand for the Agricultural Chipping program. The Board also supports sending a letter to the two other valley regional districts offering a presentation by Air Quality program staff on the benefits of a valley-wide air shed approach. 

Program and service highlights

A video is available highlighting various service and program accomplishments from January through March in the four key areas of the Regional Board Strategic Priorities.  The video and previous highlight videos can be viewed online.

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Financial Plan amendments (April 26 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board approved two bylaws amending the 2020-2024 and 2021-2025 Financial Plans. The amendments reflect the receipt of grant funding and the transfer of unused Community Works Funds and the COVID Restart Grants received in 2020 and 2021 to reserves.  In addition, $8,000 of COVID Restart Grant funds is approved to fund payroll software with improved tracking features.

Proposed Voting Unit adjustment

The Regional Board supports asking the Provincial Government to consider a change in the Voting Unit structure. The number of directors and voting strength of each is based on population and the voting unit is specified in the Letters Patent for the Regional District. After consulting with each local government it’s suggested that the currently assigned Voting Unit value of 4,000 people be increased to 5,500.  If approved by the Province, this change would take effect following the 2022 local election and see the City of Kelowna with six of 12 voting Board Directors.

Regional Growth Strategy Review

The Regional Board has determined that the Regional Growth Strategy remains relevant and does not need to be revisited. The Local Government Act requires the Regional Board to consider whether a review is needed after five years.

Development Approvals Grant Application

The Regional Board approves submitting a grant application to the Union of BC Municipalities Local Government Development Approvals program. The program provides funding to implement best practises and supports innovative approaches to improve the development approval process.

Planning Applications Considered

The Regional Board has considered the following planning applications:

  • 2nd and 3rd readings for Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-264 (Application Z20/06) at 4379 Black Road (M Basra, owner) – to rezone the property to allow a secondary suite within a single detached house under construction within the Agricultural Land Reserve.  Final adoption will be considered following receipt of a registered covenant.
  • 2nd and 3rd readings for Joe Rich Rural Land Use Bylaw No. 1195-24 (Application RLUB-20-02) for 8991 Highway 33 East (P & K Bartha, owners) to amend the land use designation to allow a secondary suite within an existing single detached house. Final adoption will be considered following bylaw approval by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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Regional Septage disposal rate adjustment (April 8 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board has adopted an updated bylaw for the disposal of septic tank effluent in the Central Okanagan.  A new basic rate of $52 per cubic meter has been set for treatment at the Regional Septage facility in the District of Lake Country.  This previous rate of $47.27 was established six years ago.  The updated septic effluent disposal fee addresses increases in fees for treatment of biosolids generated by the plant at the City of Kelowna Regional Compost facility.

Waste Reduction work plan initiatives

The Regional Board has received a detailed presentation and information regarding the status of and initiatives planned by staff with the Waste Reduction Office.  The Board supports the initiatives and timelines for the program from 2021-2023 as identified by the Solid Waste Management Plan.

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2021-2025 Financial Plan adopted (March 29 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board has adopted its 2021 - 2025 Financial Plan bylaw. The budget bylaw was drafted considering the realities of COVID-19 and addresses the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic.  It also advances projects based on the four Strategic priority areas of the Regional Board: Environment, Economic Development, Sustainable Communities, Transportation and Infrastructure. The 2021 operating budget totals just over $56.8-million compared with $57-million in 2020. This year an estimated $18.7-million will be spent on important capital and infrastructure projects. The details may be viewed online at: rdco.com/budgets

Regional Hospital District Budget approved

The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District Board has adopted its 2021 – 2025 Financial Plan. It is based on priorities identified by Interior Health and in light of the challenges presented by the pandemic, underscores the importance of health care across the region. In order to build financial reserves and reduce the potential need for debt financing for several potential capital projects over the next ten years, the Board has agreed to annual four per cent increases over the next five years. In 2021, the average residential home assessed at $751,500 will contribute $196.49 towards capital improvements and new health equipment in the Central Okanagan. The 2021 budget includes $10.2-million for new health-related capital project funding.

Community Works Fund approval

The Regional Board has approved the use of Canada Gas Tax Community Works Funds for new projects totalling $394,646 in the Electoral Areas this year. In the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area, $170,000 is allocated for projects including exterior upgrades at the Ellison Heritage and Joe Rich Community Halls, improvements at Three Forks Community Park and for a water supply intake and intake restoration at the Falcon Ridge water system.

Community Emergency Fund Applications

The Regional Board has approved submission of two applications for funding under the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund administered by the Union of BC Municipalities.

Planning Applications Considered

The Regional Board has considered the following planning applications:

  • Support for Agricultural Land Commission Application (A-21-01) at 2570 Old Vernon Road (A & J Wright, owners) – to obtain Land Commission approval for a Non-Adhering Residential Use to construct a second accessory home on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve.
  • First reading for Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-266 (Application Z21/01) for 5060 Whelan Road (L & D Ketler, owners) to consider a site-specific amendment to permit an accessory home that does not meet the minimum parcel area for use. A Public Hearing will be scheduled and advertised pending the applicant meeting a number of conditions.

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Regional Board observances (March 11 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board recognized the National Day of Observance to remember the lives lost in the past year to the COVID pandemic and their grieving family and friends.  Chair Given also thanked essential service workers for their efforts and encouraged all Central Okanagan residents to continue to follow health and safety guidelines.

The Board also provided its condolences to the family of former School District 23 Board Chair and Trustee Rolli Cacchioni on his recent passing.  As a long-time educator and community leader he touched so many lives.

Financial Plan budget update

The Regional Board has approved including two additional funding requests in the proposed 2021-2025 Financial Plan.  The first adds $40,000 to the Regional Air Quality Program budget in order to better serve orchardists and significantly reducing the Agricultural Wood Chipping Program backlog.  The second addition will see $50,000 allocated from the RDCO feasibility service fund for a study to consider establishing a Regional First Nations Engagement Service.  It’s envisioned this would further reconciliation efforts while enhancing and building on the RDCO’s strong working relationships with First Nations in the Okanagan.

Scenic Canyon Parkland Exchange Bylaw

 The Regional Board has adopted the Scenic Canyon Parkland Exchange Bylaw No. 1473 following a successful Alternative Approval Process.  The bylaw outlines the terms of an exchange of land between the Regional District and a private property owner affecting the Regional Park.  The RDCO will acquire approximately ten hectares of new park land and a .86-hectare Statutory Right of Way to provide for future trail and park connections between Scenic Canyon, the Mission Creek Greenway and City of Kelowna parks and trails.  In addition, the Regional District will receive approximately $454,000 in net compensation for the difference in the land valuation.  In exchange, the Regional District will transfer 8.67-hectares of land in the park to the property owner. The Alternative Approval Process required 20,598 electors to submit response forms to prevent the bylaw from being adopted without first holding a referendum.  Two electors submitted forms in opposition.

Regional Parks conservation covenant

The Regional Board has authorized approval of a covenant for just over 125-hectares in Black Mountain - sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park.  The covenant with the Central Okanagan Land Trust will strengthen the long-standing partnership with the RDCO and allow the organization to contribute $15,000 towards the original purchase of two properties within the Regional Park.  The Board agreed to proceed with the covenant after consulting with Westbank First Nation.

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Updated Board Strategic Priorities Plan (February 22 Regional Board meeting)

The Regional Board has approved an update to its 2019 – 2022 Strategic Priorities Plan.  As many of the initial work priorities from 2019 have been accomplished, the revised document adds new measures of success and work to be completed before 2022.  The plan outlines Board priorities in four key areas:

  • Environment
  • Economic Development
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Transportation and Mobility

Regional Parks Partnership Program

The Regional Board has approved the introduction of a formalized Friends of the RDCO Regional Parks Partnership program.  While Parks Services has had a long-standing successful history of working with Friends of Regional Parks groups and community partners, this new program creates a formal framework for working relationships with these groups.  As well, it includes implementing an annual Friends of RDCO Regional Parks Capacity Building Grant program.

Okanagan Regional Library Branch Funding

The Regional Board has received a presentation from the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) regarding funding for a new branch for the City of West Kelowna.  The ORL and city have a formal partnership to construct a new facility, replacing the current older branch.  RDCO staff will work with the Library to draft required borrowing bylaws and use of the Alternative Approval Process to confirm elector support for proposed long-term funding through the Municipal Finance Authority.

Parks Crown Land Lease and Foreshore Crown Licenses of Occupation Renewals

The Regional Board has approved renewing Crown Land Leases for Mission Creek and Rose Valley Regional Parks.  Each lease renewal is for 30-years with the same terms and conditions as the previous leases.

The Regional Board has approved renewing Provincial Foreshore Crown Licenses of Occupation seven RDCO waterfront parks.  Each foreshore license is for 30-years under the same terms and conditions for the following parks:

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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@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)