The RDEK Board has adopted the Lake Windermere Official Community Plan (OCP).
“This has been an extensive process that spans over two years,” says RDEK Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok. “One of our goals was to create a document that will guide development for the next five to ten years while balancing diverse community interests and I believe we have done that with this Plan.”
There were numerous community meetings and open houses throughout the process and Clovechok says they’ve worked closely with a community based advisory committee from early on. “I want to thank the members of the advisory committee who have been dedicated and engaged since our first meeting. They, and all the members of the public who participated in some way, have played a key role in the development of this Plan, which I believe is a significant improvement over the previous OCP.”
Following an Open House in June where the draft plan was presented, several updates were made in response to the feedback received. Some examples of the policies that have been included include:
In response to concerns about the visual impact of storage-based businesses, the OCP contains policies that support storage based businesses to be located outside of the highway 93/95 corridor, away from Athalmer Road and the Windermere townsite. In addition to this, landscaping and screening development permit area guidelines have been strengthened.
11 parcels north of Windermere Creek that were supported for exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve in the 2008 plan are now identified as properties that should stay within the ALR due to their high agricultural potential.
Policy supporting a trail system that connects the Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail, Old Coach Greenway, Windermere Beach Park, Cross Roads Regional Ball Park and communities on the east side of Lake Windermere with other amenities and services.
Although highways are outside of the RDEKs jurisdiction, the public raised concerns regarding traffic safety at several entrances to Windermere, the need for traffic calming and improved pedestrian safety near school bus stops. In response to these concerns, the OCP includes policy that advocates for highway improvements.
After receiving significant feedback regarding the lands on the west side of the lake, changes were made to provide more clarity in the policies to protect the ecological and recreation values of the properties in that area.
“I would also like to acknowledge former Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth who was integral in the early part of the process and the work of RDEK staff, particularly Kris Belanger who was the project lead and worked directly with the community throughout,” adds Clovechok.