Jaffray & Elko Area FAQs

Updated: January 2016

Q: What is an Official Community Plan?

A: The Official Community Plan (OCP) is a long term strategic planning document.  Objectives and policy statements will be drafted based on the consideration of balancing public and private interests with local and regional considerations. 
The OCP will provide a policy framework and guidelines to promote certainty in land use decision making by the RDEK Board on such topics as residential land use, commercial land use, interface fire hazard, environmentally sensitive areas, solid waste and utilities, public safety, water resources and transportation.  An OCP identifies and promotes a local vision for development and conservation within the community. An OCP assists in preventing incompatible land uses and identifying issues of importance or concern.
An OCP will not affect land uses existing at the time the Bylaw is adopted and will not affect existing permit requirements, such as building permits.

Q: What is a Zoning Bylaw?

A: A zoning bylaw is a regulatory document.  The zoning will reflect existing conditions and pro¬actively provide direction for future growth where appropriate.  Zoning assists in limiting incompatible neighbouring land uses and provides certainty to land development opportunities.  Properties are divided into zones for different land use purposes, i.e. residential or commercial.  Permitted uses and other provisions are estab¬lished for each zone and can include setbacks from property lines, maximum building heights and number of dwelling units permitted.
The zoning bylaw will also contain general regulations which apply to all properties. General regulations can include provisions for things such as off-street parking, regulation of home based businesses and placement of recreational vehicles.

Q: What about the current Land Use Bylaw?

A: The current Jaffray – Tie Lake – Rosen Lake Land Use Bylaw No. 1414 is a hybrid document that contains both land use policy and zoning regulations.  The land use bylaw was adopted by the RDEK under legislation that has since been repealed in the Local Government Act.  The land use bylaw will be repealed upon adoption of a new Official Community Plan (OCP) and new zoning regulations. 

Q: What area will the new OCP cover?

A: The new OCP is proposed to cover the Suzanne Lake, North Star Lake, Jaffray, Tie Lake, Rosen Lake, Galloway and Elko areas.  The proposed plan area can viewed through a link on the main OCP process page. The OCP will contain background information on the area, goals for plan area, land use objectives and land use policy for the Crown and private land within the plan area.  

Q: Is the area getting a new Zoning Bylaw?

A: At the current time the proposal for the zoning regulations is to amend the current South Country Zoning and Floodplain Management Bylaw to include the area to be covered by the new OCP.  The appropriate amendments will be determined as part of the ongoing planning process. As part of the process a review of the current zoning regulations contained in the land use bylaw and the current regulations in the South Country Bylaw will be reviewed.  New zones and/or zoning regulations will be proposed to ensure that the new zoning regulations reflect the needs and vision of the community.

Q: What if the zoning regulations change?

A: For zoned areas, we do not anticipate major changes to the existing regulations.  The current land use bylaw regulations will be reviewed to ensure consistency were feasible and to minimize the creation of non-conforming properties if possible.  For currently unzoned areas, uses and siting which do not conform to the new zoning bylaw regulations and legally exist at the time of adoption will be grandfathered in as legally non-conforming.  These uses or sitings can be continued as long as they are not discontinued, are maintained at the same scale or degree and in the case of buildings are not damaged to an extent of 75% or more of its value.

An existing use not in compliance with the Agricultural Land Reserve Act or Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) regulations or that has not been approved by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) will not be considered legally non-conforming.

Q: Are the new policies and regulations set?

A: The OCP and zoning bylaw are living documents which can and will change over time.  Amend¬ments may occur in response to a change in the needs of a community or individual development proposals initiated by a property owner. The RDEK can also initiate amendments to address issues that arise from time to time. All proposed amendments are subject to an application process which includes a public hearing and an opportunity for the community to comment on the amendment. All amendments require approval by the RDEK Board and the appropriate Provincial Ministries.

Q: What is the RDEK Bylaw Enforcement Policy?

A: The RDEK employs one Compliance Officer, who is responsible for enforcement of RDEK zoning regulations, the RDEK Campground Bylaw, Unsightly Premises Bylaw and Noise Bylaw.  The policy of the Board is enforcement on a complaint basis only unless authorized by the RDEK Board.  If you have concerns about the use of a property you should contact Debbie Pighin, Compliance Officer at dpighin@rdek.bc.ca, 250.489.2791 or 1.888.478.7335.

The Compliance Officer is not responsible for enforcement of fire bans, liquor licence issues, long term camping on Crown land, ATV use on Crown land or non-farm uses in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Q: Is this going to impact my taxes?

A: The taxable value of property in British Columbia is based on market-based assess¬ment and is determined by the BC Assessment Authority. The new OCP and zoning bylaw should not have an impact on property taxes.  For additional information on property assess¬ment contact the BC Assessment office in Cranbrook at 250.426.8901.

Q: What about Crown land?

A:  Provincial legislation takes precedence over RDEK bylaws on Crown land.  However, OCP designations and zoning can and will be assigned to Crown land within the plan area.  Private use of Crown land, such as the construction of buildings on land under tenure is subject to RDEK regulations.  In addition, if the land becomes privately owned, the policy and zoning regulations are in place to guide the type and form of development that can occur.

Q: What is the Agricultural Land Reserve?

A: The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is a provincial designation that applies to some agricultural land within the plan area.  The ALR was established in 1973 and is administered by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).  Land within the ALR must be used in accordance with the Agricultural Land Commission Act and the Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation. Information on the ALR and the ALC is available at www.alc.gov.bc.ca.

Q: Can I make application for a foreshore tenure (Licence of Occupation) for moorage on Tie Lake or Rosen Lake while the OCP process is happening?

A:  All applications for foreshore tenure (e.g. Licence of Occupation) are through FrontCounter BC.   If your proposed application is for a private individual dock for foreshore directly abutting private property then you should be able to proceed with an application.  However, if your application is for an individual dock or a group moorage facility where the upland property is Crown land or owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure then your application may not proceed at this time.   

The Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations has established a conditional withdrawal from disposition under Section 17 of the Land Act over all unsurveyed Crown foreshore and the bed of Tie and Rosen Lakes for a period of 5 years.   While the Official Community Plan is being completed no dispositions under the Land Act may be made under the Map Reserve Area, with the exception of:

1) Dispositions to replace, amend within the existing footprint or extend the term of any existing tenure under the Land Act.
2) Assignment of existing tenures.
3) Applications for private individual docks fronting the dock owner’s private property. 

All other applications will not be accepted without a resolution from the RDEK Board stating support for the application.

The establishment of the Section 17 Map Reserve was in response to a request made by the RDEK Board in November 2015.  The intent of the Map Reserve is to allow the OCP process to be undertaken to allow for opportunities for community consultation and development of RDEK policy to guide decision making on Crown land referrals received by the RDEK.  Discussion on what the future RDEK policies related to moorage on Tie Lake and Rosen Lake will be one of the issues explored at the visioning workshop proposed for August 2016.


Q: The size and speed of boats is a significant concern on the area lakes, what can be done about this?

A: The regulation of boat use, size or motor capacity is under the federal jurisdiction of the Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety.  It is possible for local governments to make application for vessel operation requirements or restrictions; however it is a rigorous process that requires community support.  The Transport Canada Local Authorities' Guide provides information on the process that would need to be undertaken to implement vessel operation requirements and restrictions. General information is also available on the Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety website at: Office of Boating Safety. 

The OCP process provides an opportunity to discuss issues that are of concern within the community.  It is anticipated that the focus of the discussion and resulting policy will on the land use component as this is directly under the authority of the RDEK.  However, the OCP will address community concerns and the vision of the future and applicable policies will be identified as the process moves forward.

Last edited: Thu, February 11, 2016 - 4:16:39