Frequently Asked Questions

 What is a Regional Growth Strategy?
 What is the Regional Growth Strategy?
 What is the purpose of a Regional Growth Strategy?
 What does a Regional Growth Strategy do?
 What does the Regional Growth Strategy not do?
 What is not addressed in a Regional Growth Strategy?
 Why do we need a Regional Growth Strategy?
 Why is the Regional Growth Strategy needed?
 What is in a Regional Growth Strategy?
 What geographic area is covered by the Regional Growth Strategy?
 When did the Regional Growth Strategy Review process begin?
 What is the status of the Regional Growth Strategy?
 What are the benefits of implementing the Regional Growth Strategy?
 Who makes the major decisions and who advises on the Regional Growth Strategy?
 What are the regional issues dealt with in the Regional Growth Strategy?
 How is a Regional Growth Strategy implemented?
 How does the public contribute to the RGS?
 What is the relationship between the growth strategy, sustainability and climate change?
 Why is a growth strategy important for achieving goals related to sustainability?
 

 

What is a Regional Growth Strategy?

The Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is a vision of the region, adopted by the Board of Directors of the RDCO, to establish the economic, social and environmental objectives that promote healthy communities. The objectives of the strategy provide guidance to the member municipalities, electoral areas and the Regional District in the development of local Official Community Plans and other bylaws.

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What is the Regional Growth Strategy?

The Regional District Board adopted its Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) on June 26, 2000. The strategy defines a common vision, regional goals, priorities and strategies for local jurisdictions to manage growth for the region over the 20 year horizon. Environmental, social and economic objectives are outlined in the strategy for member municipalities to incorporate into their Official Community Plans. The Local Government Act (LGA) prescribes the process and content for the RGS with the purpose "to promote human settlement that is socially, economically and environmentally healthy and that makes efficient use of public facilities and services, land and other resources."

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What is the purpose of a Regional Growth Strategy?

The purpose of a Regional Growth Strategy is to promote human settlement that is socially, economically and environmentally healthy and that makes efficient use of public facilities and services, land and other resources. The Regional Growth Strategy aims to establish a more sustainable pattern of population growth and development in the region over a twenty year period, keeping urban settlement compact, protecting the integrity of rural and resource areas, protecting the environment, and increasing servicing efficiency.

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What does a Regional Growth Strategy do?

The Regional Growth Strategy provides direction in the development of policy for Official Community Plans and bylaws of the member municipalities, electoral areas, and the Regional District. The Regional Growth Strategy commits all local governments to a shared vision, and requires the consent of all member municipalities for implementation. Subsequent Official Community Plans must include Regional Context Statements to confirm how the plan conforms to the objectives of the Regional Growth Strategy.

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What does the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) not do?

A Regional Growth Strategy cannot regulate land use within member municipalities and electoral areas. The intent of the Regional Growth Strategy is to provide for a common vision for the entire region, in terms of growth management, housing, the environment, and transportation. The Regional Growth Strategy allows municipalities flexibility in the implementation of the objectives of the plan, and only specifies the content to be included in local bylaws.

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What is not addressed in a Regional Growth Strategy?

The RGS does not make land use decisions for a municipality or jurisdiction. The RGS provides policies to direct population growth to promote human settlement. These policies are to be reflected in the member municipalities OCP's where the development approvals and land use decisions remain.

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Why do we need a Regional Growth Strategy?

Rapid population growth had raised concerns about worsening traffic, loss of open space, natural areas and agricultural lands, increased costs of services, and changing neighbourhoods. Since the impacts of growth cross jurisdictional boundaries, the Regional Growth Strategy coordinates the policy between the Regional District, member municipalities and electoral areas to ensure consistency in the direction of different jurisdictions.

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Why is the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) needed?

A RGS provides an opportunity for collaboration within the region for creation of a shared vision to preserve regional quality of life, the region needed a coordinated approach for addressing the management of this growth and its related challenges. The RGS identifies what is valued in the region and identifies the impacts the increase in population will have, and how future growth is to be managed. The RGS provides a framework for agreements among jurisdictions on matters such as major public works, in order to help shape long term development patterns in a sustainable manner.

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What is in a Regional Growth Strategy?

Provincial legislation requires the Regional Growth Strategy to cover a period of at least 20 years and it must include:

  • A regional vision, including social, economic and environmental objectives
  • Population and employment projections
  • A list of actions to meet projected needs of the projected population in relation to:
    • Housing
    • Transportation
    • Regional district services
    • Parks and natural areas
    • Economic development

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What geographic area is covered by the Regional Growth Strategy?

The Growth Management Planning Area (GMPA) for the RGS includes the municipalities of City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna, District of Peachland, Electoral Area East and West. The GMPA is approximately 314,226 ha. The Westbank First Nation and Okanagan Indian Band are not covered by the strategy as outlined in the Local Government Act.

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When did the Regional Growth Strategy Review process begin?

In October 2010 the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board formally initiated a Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) Review in accordance with Part 25 of the Local Government Act.

  • extensive consultation and technical analysis to be completed
  • Regional Context Statements - the mechanism that ensures consistency between the RGS and member municipalities' Official Community Plans - were required from each municipality within 2 years of RGS adoption. Some of these are undergoing updates.

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What is the status of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS)?

The current RGS, Bylaw No. 1336, has been in place since the Regional Board adopted it on June 23,2014. The member municipalities have supported the Regional Growth Strategy with regional context statements provided in their OCP's that indicate the relationship between the two long range planning documents.

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What are the benefits of implementing the Regional Growth Strategy?

The implementation of a RGS encourages discussion, coordination and cooperation among jurisdictions and member municipalities on many regional issues. In addition, the RGS can provide a framework for attracting provincial investment, so that capital spending is consistent with the overall regional vision.

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Who makes the major decisions and who advises on the Regional Growth Strategy?

The RDCO Board is ultimately responsible for major project decisions on the process and content of the Regional Growth Strategy.

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What are the regional issues dealt with in the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS)?

The RGS deals with a broad range of region-wide and inter-jurisdictional issues, including housing, transportation, economic development, environmental protection, water resources, air quality and regional governance and service delivery.

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How is a Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) implemented?

With the regional partners working cooperatively, the RGS outlines the following set of tasks on the implementation of the RGS:

1. Update OCP Regional Context Statements
2. Develop a Five-Year Action Plan
3. Explore Implementation Agreements
4. Prepare a Monitoring and Evaluation Program
5. Plan for Five-Year Reviews

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How is the Regional Growth Strategy monitored?

The Provincial legislation requires the establishment of a program to monitor the implementation of the Regional Growth Strategy and resulting progress made towards achieving its objectives. The region will be required to prepare an annual report on the RGS and conduct a review at least once every five years to report if any amendments are necessary.

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How does the public contribute to the RGS?

The Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) legislation establishes the minimum requirements for public consultation required to develop or update a RGS. Throughout the development of a Regional Growth Strategy, the RDCO must provide an opportunity for consultation with stakeholders who are considered to be affected by the RGS. A consultation plan must be prepared that provides for early and continued consultation with Provincial and federal governments, first nations, affected local governments and its citizens.

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What is the relationship between the growth strategy, sustainability and climate change?

The Regional Growth Strategy can provide an appropriate planning framework for addressing sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Each aspect is about improving quality of life and protecting the environment in the Central Okanagan. Policies created in the RGS will help local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and work toward creating more compact and sustainable communities as per the requirements in the Local Government Act (LGA).

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Why is a growth strategy important for achieving goals related to sustainability?

The Regional Growth Strategy does not just have implications for environmental objectives, but also must address economic and social issues. Each environmental, social and economic objective are important facets of sustainability. Managing the growth of communities has implications for the efficient provisions of services, economic development of communities, providing affordable housing and providing for the stewardship of land and resources.

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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)