Land use planning
The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is the local authority for land use planning and decision making in the Interlakes Area. Headquartered at 180 North 3rd Avenue in Williams Lake, the District also has an office in the South Cariboo Recreation Center on Airport Road in 100 Mile House.
The Planning Services department of the CRD operates out of the Williams Lake office although development applications can be submitted and development documents can be viewed at the 100 Mile House office.
“Planning Services facilitates planned development within the unincorporated areas of the Cariboo Regional District. The department has long-range and current planning components in its mandate. The long-range planning component includes the research and development of land use policies and regulations. Land use policies are adopted as official community plans, and land use regulations are adopted as zoning bylaws. Rural land use bylaws are an alternative that combine land use policies and regulations.” (CRD website)
Development applications are reviewed by Planning Services to determine their consistency with the relevant Official Community Plan. For those proposals which are not consistent with the Plan, the developer may request that the Official Community Plan and the associated Zoning Bylaw be amended to allow the development to proceed. The process for making these changes includes the following:
Following final adoption of the bylaws amending the Community Plan and the zoning bylaw, the developer is free to proceed with the planned subdivision and development of the property. This will require the filing of appropriate legal documents and obtaining of various permits from a number of regulatory authorities.
The Friends of Bridge Lake experience with the “Heritage” island development proposal demonstrated a number of deficiencies with the public consultation process. One of the concerns is that only minimal effort is put into notifying interested parties about a development application.
Another concern is, that a fair participation of the public can only be achieved, when every resident (permanent and non-permanent) has the opportunity to attend the Public Hearings held by the CRD after the 1st and 2nd reading of a rezoning application. To this effect, the Friends of Bridge Lake together with the Friends of Lac des Roches and Birch Lake, the Deka Lake Ratepayers Association and the Green Lake Area Ratepayers Association have written a letter to the CRD Area ‘L’ director Bruce Rattray asking him to implement a policy that Public Hearings for “major developments” are only held between the beginning of May and the end of October.
There are a number of key documents related to the land use planning and approval process. These include: