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

TONIGHT: bartenders compete in Victoria for top title

The Complete Bartender Competition is coming to the Little Jumbo Restaurant and Bar

Oak Bay realtor recalls sale of home where family was murdered

Home sellers not always required to disclose violent crimes

Saanich strikes standing committee to help create citizens’ assembly

Membership includes vocal amalgamation critic Coun. Judy Brownoff

Victoria police seek witnesses after assault reported by man in wheelchair

Cops hope to speak with witnesses near Yates and Douglas on Jan. 13 between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.

Olympic Gold medalist rower disppointed Saanich won’t host national training centre

Adam Kreek said also he respects decision by Rowing Canada Aviron

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read