Published On: Thursday, 11 January 2018
CRD Regional Growth Strategy Nearing Approval
VICTORIA - Developers and businesses in the Capital Regional District (CRD) will experience a more seamless environment once the updated Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is approved.
The revised draft strategy went to the CRD board in early January, following a successful mediation process which started in February 2017. The mediation resolved disputed provisions related to managing growth, water servicing, climate action, food systems and transportation.
"I am very happy to refer this RGS document to municipal councils for acceptance,” says CRD Board Chair Steve Price. “The revisions seek to address the interests of all the parties, and set the stage for how the region will approach future growth.”
Adoption of the RGS bylaw requires all municipalities within the capital region to approve the growth strategy. Mediation was triggered in February 2017 when seven municipalities refused to accept the RGS. The CRD represents 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island.
Provincial legislation provides specific dispute resolution mechanisms to settle an RGS that does not receive unanimous municipal acceptance.
“The mediation process was a very positive experience” says Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks. “I hope that all councils will support the mediation compromise that came out of the process so we can put this dispute behind us.”
The solutions generated by mediation focused on seven topic areas: vision / population projections, economic development, climate action, transportation, food systems, growth management and water servicing.
Solutions included revised policy provisions, updated mapping and population projections, updated content related to food systems and climate action, and terminology edits.
The next step in the process is a 60-day referral of the document to municipal councils for acceptance. Should all councils accept the revised document, the Board may adopt the RGS as a bylaw.
The RGS bylaw will update the existing growth strategy, adopted in 2003. The RGS guides decisions on regional issues, provides population and employment projections to the year 2038 and updates policy regarding water servicing, growth management, the environment and infrastructure, housing and community, transportation and economic development.
The 2018 RGS also provides new policy regarding food systems and climate action.
Visit the website for more information on the regional growth strategy.