This electoral area encompasses the mostly rural, unincorporated area on the west side of Okanagan Lake, outside the municipal boundaries of the City of West Kelowna and District of Peachland. Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10 are included within the boundary of the electoral area, however the Westbank First Nation is an independent, self-sustaining government. (Map)
There are a number of communities within the Electoral Area including many along Westside Road (Traders Cove, Killiney Beach, Wilson’s Landing, Westshore Estates, Fintry, Valley of the Sun), the area also includes two areas outside the District of Peachland: the Trepanier Valley and Brent Road.
Throughout the Electoral Area, the RDCO Zoning Bylaw applies and is supplemented by the Brent Road-Trepanier Official Community Plan and the Rural Westside Official Community Plan.
There are also two Fire Protection Areas with paid on call fire services provided by the North Westside Fire Rescue and Wilson’s Landing Fire Department.
Electoral Area News
Area Size: 124,756 hectares
Population: 1,981 (plus 9,028 on WFN Reserves #9 and #10 - 2016 Census)
Electoral Area Director: Wayne Carson - email Email - 250-801-4859
Local Services and Estimated Tax Requisition and Rates (2020 Financial Plan)
2018 Economic Profile - Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission
Electoral Area Community Parks:
Electoral Area News
Regional Parks Service Review (September 10 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has received a report from a scheduled review of the Regional Parks service. The report makes a number of recommendations to increase operational efficiencies and ensure continued provision of cost-effective services in the regional park system including:
- updating the Regional Parkland Acquisition Strategy
- targeting fundraising partnerships to assist or offset the operating and capital development costs associated with future park amenity/infrastructure
The Board also agreed to phase in a reduction of the $39,000 annual grant to the Friends of Fintry Provincial Park by one third in 2021 and again in 2022 with no grant in 2023 or after. The funds would be reallocated and used to enhance regional parks programs and services for residents and visitors. The Board also directed that a letter be sent to the Provincial Government advising of the funding adjustments to the Society and allowing time to explore alternate sources.
Environmental Advisory Commission
The Regional Board has appointed a new member to the Environmental Advisory Commission. Leah Schurian will join the volunteer Commission in October and will serve through September 2023. The Commission members represent a diverse background of environmental professions, practice and experience and provide expert advice to the Regional Board on environmental issues relating to land use and development applications.
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2019 Financial Disclosure Schedules (August 24 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has approved the 2019 report outlining remuneration and expenses for elected officials, their alternates and 35 staff whose remuneration was greater than $75,000. In 2019, the remuneration of all Regional District employees totaled just over $9.2-million. The report also outlines payments totaling over $14.7-million during 2019 to 98 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.
Community Park Foreshore Agreement
The Regional Board approves a 30-year License of Occupation for the foreshore along Killiney Beach Community Park. The five-hectare waterfront park is located at the end of Hodges Road in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area and provides swimming, a boat launch and dog beach.
Agricultural Land Commission Application
The Regional Board has given conditional support to an application made to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC). The applicant proposes developing a cherry orchard on a property within the Agricultural Land Reserve in the 4900 block of Trepanier Road in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area and is requesting ALC approval for the existing non-farm use placement of fill material and proposed additional fill activities. The Board support requests the ALC ensure the applicant meets a number of conditions including monitoring of the orchard development by a professional agrologist.
Okanagan Lake Level Management
The Regional Board has received a request from the District of Peachland to ask the Provincial Government to re-evaluate and update models used to manage Okanagan Lake levels. The municipality is concerned current flow and ‘full pool’ models for the lake are old and don’t take into consideration the impacts of climate change, population growth and flow management. The Board will receive more information about this after hearing from the Okanagan Basin Water Board this fall.
Program and Service Highlights
A video is available highlighting various service and program accomplishments between January and June in the four key areas of the Regional Board Strategic Priorities. The video can be viewed at youtube.com/user/regionaldistrict.
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Firefighters Society Receives Large Donation - July 2020
Two Central Okanagan realtors have made a generous donation to their fire first responders.
Donna and Camille Steele of Royal LePage in Kelowna recently presented a cheque for $2,035 to the North Westside Fire Rescue Firefighters Society.
Acting Deputy Chiefs Shawn Barnes and Graeme Headley and Lieutenant Nic Cantryn received the donation on behalf of the Society.
Barnes, who is President of the Society says “the members of the fire department are extremely grateful for the substantial donation. It has even more significance as Donna’s family lives in one of the communities that we serve. It means a lot to the department firefighters to know they are appreciated for their hard work. They are dedicated to helping their neighbours and keeping them safe whenever duty calls. The donation is timely and welcome as due to the ongoing pandemic, we aren’t able to hold the annual Firefighters Society fundraising community barbeque this year.”
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North Westside Restructure Planning Grant (July 9 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has approved a request from the North Westside Communities Association. It will provide a letter of support to the association which wishes to apply to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for a Restructure Planning Grant. In addition, the Board has asked staff to include in the 2021 and 2022 Financial Plan funds to retain an independent consultant to develop and assist in implementing a communications strategy and public engagement process. This work will follow up on several recommendations in an independent consultant’s services review within the boundary of the North Westside Fire Protection District.
2019 Audited Financial Statements
The Regional Board has approved the 2019 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.
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North Westside Governance Presentation (June 22 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has received a presentation from the North Westside Communities Association requesting a letter of support to the Province for a possible restructure grant to fund a study into the area’s governance options. The Board has asked staff to provide an update on the steps taken since the January 2018 report from the Chief Administrative Officer following an independent third-party consultant’s services review within the boundary of the North Westside Fire Protection District. As well, staff will provide suggested recommendations on how to move forward.
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SILGA Award Winning Entry - (May 25 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional District has received an award from the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA). The RDCO won the Association’s Community Excellence Award for Environmental Sustainability. In 2018 the Regional District partnered with the Okanagan Basin Water Board on a multi-stakeholder committee representing 13 local governments, four First Nations and several local and provincial agencies in the Okanagan to coordinate the Okanagan Flood Collaboration Project. This effort saw risk assessments undertaken along with flood mapping to help the valley become more resilient to precipitation extremes in the wake of the 2017 floods.
Regional Floodplain Management Plan
The Regional Board has received information and an update regarding the second phase of the Regional Floodplain Management Plan. The RDCO and City of Kelowna partnered to complete a flood mapping and dike breach analysis of Mission Creek in order to support identification of potential hazard areas and help with flood mitigation planning, future land use decisions and flood related works.
License of Occupation Agreement
The Regional Board approves entering into a five year License of Occupation agreement with the City of Kelowna. The agreement will formalize the existing small parking and bird viewing area along the Curtis Road right-of-way, adjacent to Robert Lake Regional Park.
Proposed Land Use Contract Discharge
The Regional Board has directed Community Services Planning staff to begin a RDCO initiated process to discharge Land Use Contract (LUC) No. 225 affecting Lake Okanagan Resort along with an amendment to the zoning bylaw to provide that lands will be appropriately zoned. The Provincial Government will automatically terminate all LUC’s on June 30, 2024.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw Application
The Regional Board has deferred consideration of a Zoning Amendment Bylaw for a property at 4345 Maxwell Road in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. The applicant is proposing a Cannabis Production Facility that does not meet the minimum property size allowed for the use and to vary a setback for a building intended for this purpose. The applicant must address concerns and requirements identified by several agencies. The Board has also directed Planning staff not to consider any further zoning amendment applications until specific outstanding non-compliance issues are addressed related to an existing accessory building.
The Regional Board considered the following additional planning applications:
- Approval of a Development Variance Permit (VP-20-01) at 3625 N. Westside Road (J & H Denison/J Knight, owners) – to allow an increase of the maximum accessory building height.
- Conditional approval for Development Permit (DP-20-02) at 2677 Westside Road North (B Gordon, owner) to rectify non-compliance with unauthorized placement of fill along Okanagan Lake foreshore on Crown land.
- Conditional approval for Development Permit (DP-20-01) at 7379 Fintry Delta Road (T Robinson, owner) for works associated with construction of a single family dwelling, detached garage and septic field.
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COVID-19 Utility Bill Late Payment - (April 27 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has adopted nine amendment bylaws providing relief from late payment penalties on utility bills to help those facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No late payment fees will be charged on outstanding balances for water, solid waste management and sewer utility invoices in the electoral areas for the rest of 2020. Penalty charges will resume in 2021 for outstanding utility payment balances. Residents that can afford to pay their utility bills on time are urged to do so in order to provide cash flow and help in mitigating potential interim borrowing costs for operations.
RDCO Response to Pandemic
The Regional Board has received a report on how the RDCO organization is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The areas of focus include:
- Community and staff safety
- Provision of essential services
- Balanced use of financial resources and resident/business support
- Contribution to regional economic recovery
It’s important to note that regional districts operate differently than municipal governments as they do not directly tax property owners and are required to submit a budget bylaw to the Provincial Government by March 31. Any changes made to the budget now will not change the 2020 tax requisition but may offset costs in 2021 through surplus funds.
Regional Essential Services Agreement
The Regional Board has approved a region-wide agreement for the provision of essential services during the coronavirus emergency. Each local government in the Central Okanagan has agreed to this mutual aid agreement providing staff and equipment as available to ensure continued drinking water, waste water treatment and solid waste management services for a partner requesting assistance in these critical service areas. Emergency Management BC has indicated eligible costs under the agreement will be recoverable.
Economic Response and Recovery Efforts
The Regional Board has received an update on the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission response to the economic impact of the pandemic. An Economic Response Action Team is working to help local businesses over the next few months while a longer term strategy is being guided by the Regional Mayors and Westbank First Nation Chief’s Economic Task Force to emerge from the crisis stronger and with new opportunities for economic prosperity.
Solid Waste Management Plan Approved
The Regional Board has given final approval to the new Central Okanagan Solid Waste Management Plan. The updated plan includes two amendments required with the approval from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy:
- Completion of a Five Year Effectiveness Review by December 31, 2024
- Re-evaluation by December 31, 2030 of organic waste diversion opportunities and an assessment of the effectiveness of maintaining landfill gas collection and use at the Glenmore landfill.
The plan outlines initiatives that initially target the reduction of waste; increased reuse of waste materials and the increased collection of recyclable
and compostable components of the waste stream. When fully implemented over the next ten years, the initiatives have the potential to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and increase the region’s diversion rate from 43% to 50%.
The Regional Board has considered the following planning applications:
- One year Extension Request approved for OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 1274-06 and Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 871-246 at 6972 Barcelona Drive East (C Roy, owner) as the owner continues to satisfy concerns of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
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2020-2024 Financial Plan Adopted - (March 23 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has adopted its 2020 - 2024 Financial Plan bylaw. The budget was drafted prior to the current public health response to the COVID-19 virus and its approval will ensure delivery of RDCO services. In light of the evolving response to the challenges ahead, there may be a time in the coming year that will require the Board to revisit and adapt the Financial Plan to best respond to the needs of the region. The 2020 operating budget totals $55.99-million compared with $58.92-million in 2019. This year $12.5-million will be spent on important capital and infrastructure projects. The details may be viewed online at: rdco.com/budgets.
Community Works Fund Approval
The Regional Board has approved the use of Gas Tax Community Works Funds for new projects totalling $301,700 in the electoral areas this year. $203,000 will be used in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area for a new picnic shelter in Killiney Beach Community Park, dog beach fencing, a comfort station at Fintry Access #2 and a Community Trail in Traders Cove. In the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area, $98,700 will be used for signage and roof replacement at the Ellison Heritage Community Hall and for signage at the Joe Rich Community Hall.
Non-farm Use ALC Application Supported
The Regional Board supports an application for a non-farm use to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for an Ellison-area property within the Agricultural Land Reserve. The applicant is asking the ALC to allow construction of an additional cold storage building at 4381 Old Vernon Road in order to expand its existing cherry and apple production line. If the application is approved by the ALC, the owners would be required to apply for a RDCO building permit.
Regional Hospital District Budget Approved
The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District Board has adopted its 2020 – 2024 Financial Plan. It was drafted before the current public health emergency on priorities identified by Interior Health. Depending on how the response unfolds, these priorities may require some flexibility and adjustments in the Financial Plan to meet the needs of Central Okanagan residents. In order to build financial reserves and reduce the potential need for debt financing for a possible $55-65-million in capital projects over the next ten years, the Board has agreed to annual three per cent increases over the next five years. In 2020, the average residential home assessed at $734,500 will pay $188.86 towards capital improvements and new health equipment in the Central Okanagan. The 2020 budget includes $10.5-million for health-related capital project funding.
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Secondary Suites Amendments Approved - (February 24 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has approved amendments to the Joe Rich Rural Land Use and RDCO Zoning bylaws. The amendments clarify secondary suite regulations and strengthen servicing requirements while continuing with the current process that sees the Board consider individual secondary suite applications. The amendments also reflect new design and construction requirements for secondary suites in the BC Building Code.
Water Program Grant Application
The Regional Board has approved sending an application to the Okanagan Basin Water Board Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program. The grant would fund a study to determine the impact of septic fields on water quality along the Okanagan Lake foreshore in the Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates areas. The study could provide helpful information as the Regional District is investigating locations for new intakes for its water systems in each of those areas.
Agricultural Advisory Commission Members
The Regional Board has endorsed the appointments of three people to its Agricultural Advisory Commission. Meagan Ludwig is a new member while Andreas Wins-Purdy and Leo Gebert have been reappointed. All three will serve a three year term through February 2023. The Agricultural Advisory Commission provides advice to the Regional Board, other Commissions and staff regarding agricultural issues and the potential impact of land use and planning decisions on agriculture.
ESS Program Grant Application
The Regional Board has approved submitting a grant application to the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, which administers Provincial Government funding to enhance local government resiliency in responding to and recovering from emergencies. The grant funding would be used by the Emergency Support Services program to modernize computer equipment and provide volunteers with further training in order to assist residents impacted by emergencies.
Planning Variance Application
The Regional Board has approved the following application:
- Development Variance Permit (VP-19-09) for K. Armstrong, 571 Mountain Drive – to allow a reduction of the front setback based on a Land Surveyor’s Certificate to permit siting of an existing single detached house. The Board did not approve a proposed front entrance addition.
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Wellness & Poverty Reduction Strategy - (February 13 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has given approval for staff to work with a local committee in developing a regional poverty reduction strategy. In addition, the Board supports the RDCO submitting an application for a grant of up to $150,000 from the Union of BC Municipalities Poverty and Action Program in order to create the regional strategy.
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Secondary Suites Amendments (January 27 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has given second and third readings to amendments to the Joe Rich Rural Land Use and RDCO Zoning bylaws. The amendments clarify secondary suite regulations and strengthen servicing requirements while continuing with the current process of the Board considering individual secondary suite applications. The amendments also reflect new design and construction requirements for secondary suites in the BC Building Code. Final adoption by the Board will be scheduled following approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Development Permit Application
The Regional Board did not approve a Development Permit Application from Forest House Preserve Limited for a property located at 9185 Westside Road. The decision is based on some unauthorized works on the property. The development does not conform to the Aquatic Ecosystem Development Permit Design Guidelines of the Rural Westside Official Community Plan or the terms of the Riparian Areas Protection Regulation.
Electoral Area Grant-in-Aid
The Regional Board has approved the following Central Okanagan West Electoral Area Grant-in-Aid to the North Westside Communities Association:
- $800 for Children’s Easter Egg Hunt/Community BBQ – April 11
- $800 for Canada Day celebration – July 1
- $1,500 for soccer equipment for the North Westside Sports Club
Electoral Area Directors 2020 Conferences
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.
Financial Plan Bylaw Amendments
The Regional Board has adopted amendments to the 2019-2023 Financial Plan Bylaw. The changes reflect actual year end revenues and expenditures and in a few cases offset deficits as a result of unanticipated costs.
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Flood Planning Grant Sought - (January 16 Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has approved submitting a grant application for up to $150,000 to the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, which administers Provincial Government funding. If approved, the grant would be used to complete the third phase of the Regional Floodplain Management Plan which would create mitigation options and strategies, building on work done since 2016 to identify and reduce flood risks across the Central Okanagan.
Updated Emergency Preparedness Bylaw
The Regional Board has adopted amendments updating the Preparation for Emergencies Bylaw. The changes modernize the original bylaw which dates back to 1991 and includes a description of the service as it is today reflecting the participating areas and local governments and provides additional cost recovery methods. Each participating local government has agreed to the updated bylaw and it has also received approval from the Provincial Inspector of Municipalities.
Environmental Advisory Commission Appointments
The Regional Board has approved four appointments to its Environmental Advisory Commission. Joining the commission are Catherine Nesmith and Gisele Rehe who will serve three year terms through January 2022. The Board has also reappointed Tanis Gieselman and Rhianna Moghadas effective in March for a three year term ending in March 2022. The independent Commission volunteers represent a diverse background of environmental professions, practice and experience and provides expert advice to the Regional Board on environmental issues relating to land use and development applications.
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Evacuation Route Plan Grant Application - (December 9th Regional Board meeting)
The Regional Board has approved submitting a grant application to the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund which administers Provincial Government funding. The RDCO hopes to partner with other local governments in the region to assist with planning safe emergency evacuation routes that would be used to safely move people, personal property and animals from an area during an emergency.
Regional Board Committee Appointments
The Regional Board has approved the appointment of Directors to represent the Regional District on several boards and committees for 2020. Directors James Baker, Colin Basran and Cindy Fortin will serve on the Okanagan Basin Water Board. Director Wayne Carson is appointed to the Okanagan Regional Library Board. Directors Brad Sieben and James Baker will serve on the Sterile Insect Release Board while Director Mark Bartyik has been appointed to the Economic Development Commission Advisory Board and Loyal Wooldridge will serve as a liaison to the Okanagan Film Commission.
Electoral Area Directors Conferences
The Regional Board has authorized the registration and travel of two electoral area representatives for training conferences in early February. Central Okanagan East Director Mark Bartyik and Central Okanagan West Director Wayne Carson will attend the Local Government Leadership Academy Forum and Union of BC Municipalities Electoral Area Directors Forum February 4-7 in Richmond.
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