Mediation Finds Solutions to Regional Growth Strategy Dispute

Mediation was triggered when seven municipalities refused to accept the RGS

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board meets Wednesday (Jan. 10) and will consider a revised Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) bylaw.

The Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is a vision for the future of the capital region, guiding decisions on regional issues such as transportation, population growth and settlement patterns.

The existing RGS is currently being updated as part of a 5-year review process, however, it ran into problems when seven municipalities refused to accept the updated RGS. The disputed RGS provisions related to how the region plans for, accommodates and manages impacts related to growth.

Due to the refusal of the RGS by the municipalities, mediation was triggered. Mediation began in February 2017, as per provincial legislation, in order to resolve disputed provisions. Participating in the sessions were the CRD, the seven municipalities who did not accept the RGS (Central Saanich, Colwood, Esquimalt, Highlands, North Saanich, Saanich and View Royal) and the three municipalities who accepted the RGS and voluntarily chose to participate (Metchosin, Sooke and Victoria).

“Mediation helped get solutions on the table that all participants could agree to,” says CRD Vice-Chair David Screech. “For a document that guides decisions on regional matters, it was important to take the time and put in the effort to get it right.”

The CRD says a range of solutions were generated by mediation, including providing more detailed population projections, refining content concerning parkland protection and transportation, and including new content related to urban settlement, food systems and climate adaptation. The agreement on water servicing refines criteria and process requirements for addressing new water services extensions, and identifies the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area communities where water extensions could occur.

The sessions concluded with all parties agreeing on policy content for inclusion in a revised RGS bylaw document. The revised bylaw incorporates solutions to disputed provisions that were agreed to by all participants in the RGS mediation process.

“I am extremely pleased with the solutions coming out of mediation, thanks to a strong collaborative effort from all participants,” says CRD Board Chair Steve Price. “I’d like to thank Directors Ben Isitt and Nils Jensen for their excellent work representing the CRD at mediation and to recognize my municipal and electoral area colleagues, the mediation team and staff for their roles in successful mediation.”

Adoption of the RGS bylaw requires acceptance by all municipal councils within the capital region. Should the Board approve the revised bylaw, it would be referred to municipal councils for acceptance. The Board may only adopt the RGS as bylaw once accepted by all municipal councils.

“The mediation process was a very positive experience,” says Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks. “I hope that the CRD Board and all councils will support the mediation compromise that came out of the process so we can put this dispute behind us.”

The policy content will be considered by the CRD Board on January 10, 2018.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

13-year-old Langford boy missing

West Shore RCMP say Alex Meickle was likely headed to Tofino

Greater Victoria-based digital crisis line sees spike in chats

Service allows youth to chat with volunteers through instant messaging services, text message

Rollover crash in Colwood occurred after driver had epileptic seizure

Colwood Fire used the Jaws of Life to extricate two people inside the vehicle

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said day to recognize painful legacy would boost understanding

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

B.C. gangster charged after man allegedly beaten with a golf club

Langley man facing aggravated assault charge after incident allegedly involved golf club and machete

442 Squadron medevacs injured fisherman at Graham Island

442 Squadron medevacs injured fisherman at Graham Island

Are you Canada’s next Masterchef?

Home cooks looking to follow their cuisine dreams can apply now.

Regional climate adaptation agriculture testing to expand in B.C.

Ottawa funds farm projects to conserve water, remove invasive species

Most Read