Council adjusts riparian rules

Environmental protection in Coldstream has been scaled back from original plans, which got a rise out of residents

Environmental protection in Coldstream has been scaled back from original plans, which got a rise out of residents.

Initially, the district’s Official Community Plan proposed including entire blocks of property with riparian areas as part of the permit area. That would have been in excess of the 30 metres necessary (under provincial legislation).

“Although I am in favour of protection of our water courses I feel changing the existing 30-meter riparian area to a development permit area is a huge burden on Coldstream landowners,” said Brian Postill in a letter to council. “I feel the existing legislation protects the environment and is working well.”

Coldstream Ranch and other residents also wrote letters in opposition, therefore Coldstream decided to scale back the extent of the permit area.

Coun. Richard Enns opposed the change of plans.

“We’re maybe responding to some concerns without looking at the reason behind this mapping,” said Enns, adding that it will be more costly.

In fact, a staff report states that residents will be required to perform a legal survey if there is any uncertainty in the location of the development relative to the riparian assessment area.

“This will cost between $1,500 and $2,000 each time,” said Mike Reiley, director of development services, in his report.

The change will reduce the amount of land impacted by development permit requirements, however it will not necessarily reduce the frequency that people will have to contact the municipality prior to development, Reiley also notes.

“Anytime property is being developed that is adjacent to a water body, staff review the proposal to ensure that development is taking place outside of the RAR assessment area. If there is any uncertainty with meeting the setback distance the property owner is required to provide a survey plan be provided showing the location of the RAR assessment area and the location of the proposed development.”

 

Vernon Morning Star