Quadra Island and the Discovery Islands are taking a long-term look at how they can develop in a sustainable manner.
At the most recent Strathcona Regional District meeting, the board agreed to motions that will facilitate a sustainability planning process for how the islands can meet challenges around development.
“I’d just like to say that this is long, long overdue. I very much appreciate the work that was done by staff to make it happen, to get the money. We need it,” Area D Director Jim Abram told the rest of the board at the July 18 meeting. “We need Quadra Island and the Outer Islands to have this done.”
He described the current bylaw, which was passed almost 30 years ago, as outdated in terms of zoning and infrastructure. As well, there is no official community plan (OCP) covering all of Area C, only Quadra Island, though there is a rural land-use plan that covers much of the remaining area. The hope now is to revise wording to bring the bylaw up to date for the island communities.
“We really, really need to look at what it is that everybody feels is important,” he said. “This plan, I think, will do it. It’ll actually get to the root of all our problems.”
The SRD board was considering whether to approve the Strategic Priorities Fund funding agreement between the SRD and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for the Electoral Area C Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) project. The Strategic Priorities Fund is administered through an agreement over federal gas tax funding.
In March, the SRD received notification its grant application was approved, meaning $70,000 can be made available for the creation of the sustainability plan, including the hiring of a consultant for the process.
The SRD would also make $12,000 available from its planning budget available to cover staff time and a legal review of the draft plan.
At the SRD meeting, Charlie Cornfield of the City of Campbell River wanted some clarification about the motion to approve funding already approved from the Strategic Priorities Fund.
“This a contribution agreement that we have to sign to get the funds,” SRD Chief Administrative Office David Leitch responded.
Board members also passed a motion to amend the 2018-22 financial plan for the regional district to include incremental grand funding from the Strategic Priorities Fund.
As part of the process to created the sustainability plan, the regional district will include input from residents, community associations and resource industries such as forestry, aquaculture and tourism.