RDEK Encouraged by Strong Turnout to Planning Process Meeting

Over 100 people filled the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, April 21 to take part in a community planning workshop for the review and update of the Lake Windermere Official Community Plan (OCP).

“The main purpose of the workshop was to gather comments on proposed policies and questions around various land use topics and to allow people to share their thoughts on where preservation or changes could occur,” says RDEK Area F Director Wendy Booth.  “We have really been trying to emphasize the importance of community involvement, so I was very pleased to see so many people in attendance.”

The RDEK’s lead planner on the project, Kris Belanger, provided those in attendance with an overview of the process to date, including results of earlier rounds of public engagement, before having everyone break out into working groups. “It was a great day. The feedback from the workshop gives us a sense if we are on the right track, or if we need more feedback into a particular topic,” says Belanger.

For the most part, workshop participants shared similar views about many of the proposed policy and land use questions, and the RDEK received positive feedback from the workshop. However, Belanger says there were several questions related to land on the west side of Lake Windermere where opinions differed. “The discussions around the development of land on the west side of the lake near the border of Invermere did not result in clear direction on how we should proceed. We need to do some additional engagement in order to get a sense of how to address the land use concerns.”

Recognizing that approximately 70% of property owners in the plan area are non-residents, and attending an in-person meeting is not always practical, the RDEK will be introducing some online options to gather additional feedback from residents and property owners in the plan area.

“A key part of the online engagement will be to seek more detailed information about land use near the border with Invermere,” explains Belanger.  The RDEK will provide more information on how to access the online information once it has been fully set up.

For more information on the Lake Windermere OCP, or to sign up for the RDEK’s email group, visit www.rdek.bc.ca.