The following are the results of the surveys conducted last summer which attempted to clarify the original Community Plan work of the summer of 2000. Along with these opinions are the proposed changes that the Islands Trust staff felt were appropriate to make in the original points of view.
The Rural Land-Use Bylaw which will be the legal statement of these views of Keats Islanders will be available soon and will be posted on this site.
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by Kim Benson, Local Trustee, Islands Trust
The current Official
Community Plan (OCP) for Keats Island (Bylaw 107) was adopted in
January 1977. The Islands Trust is conducting a public review of the
Keats OCP. The end result of the public
review process will be to combine updated and revised Keats Island
Community goals, objectives, and policies with revised regulations for
zoning and subdivision into one comprehensive planning document, called
a Rural Land Use Bylaw (RLUB).
The new planning document
will outline a shared community vision on how Keats Island should
evolve in the coming years. It will also provide direction to guide
government agencies, current residents and property owners, and
prospective landowners about existing and future land and foreshore use
and development, and publicly funded services on Keats Island.
The Current Situation
The current zoning and
subdivision bylaws for Keats Island (OCP Bylaw No. 107, Zoning Bylaw
No. 96, and Subdivision Bylaw No. 103) total more than 110 pages. These
bylaws are confusing. It’s hard to relate one bylaw to the next, and to
know which sections are relevant to Keats. These bylaws cover Keats,
Anvil, the Pasley, Trail, and Thormanby Islands but not Gambier.
While some sections of
the current bylaws are relevant to Keats, many are not relevant to any
of the islands. They have been repealed on those parts of the mainland
that they covered, when the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) had
the land use planning function for Keats and other islands. The Islands
Trust acquired full land use planning and regulatory powers for the
islands in 1978, and inherited the current Keats OCP, zoning, and
subdivision bylaws from the SCRD at that time.
The old bylaws are very
blunt and insensitive to local circumstances in some sections, and very
vague and open to interpretation in others. The new Keats Island Rural
Land Use Bylaw will replace these documents with a single, streamlined
one, totaling about 65 to 75 pages, which will be tailored specifically
to Keats Island and surrounding Shelter, Home, and Preston islets. The
new Keats RLUB will recognize traditional Keats Island circumstances,
land and foreshore uses. It will be more sensitive to local situations,
and will include clear policy guidelines and community processes to
handle any future proposals for new subdivisions or changes in
zoning of land or foreshore in the Keats Island planning area.
Process and the Islands Trust Act
There is a local trust
committee (LTC) for each group of islands designated as a local trust
area, and 1 committee for Bowen Island. Keats Island is within the
Gambier Island Local Trust Area. Each LTC has 3 members – 2 locally
elected trustees and 1 Islands Trust Executive Committee member who
serves as Chair. The members of the Gambier Local Trust Committee,
currently serving a 3-yr term, are Bob Gibson from Gambier
(604-931-1455), Kim Benson from Keats (604-886- 9868), and Committee
Chair John Money, a Local Trustee from Saturna Island (250-539-2975).
The Gambier LTC has, with
respect to Keats, all the power and authority of a regional district
board, including preparation and adoption of Official Community Plans,
rural land use bylaws, zoning and subdivision bylaws, regulation of
soil removal and deposit, and authorization of permits under Part 26 of
the Local Government Act (Management of Development). This
ensures that Keats Island land use decisions are made by elected
islanders, rather than by a “mainland-oriented” Regional District Board
in Sechelt. And decisions are made with the “preserve and protect”
objective of the Islands Trust Act in mind. Approximately 9% of
Keats Island property taxes go to the Islands Trust.
The Keats Planning Review
Process is being undertaken in a manner consistent with both the Islands
Trust Act, and the Local Government Act. As such, the new
Keats RLUB must include goals, objectives, policies, map designations,
and regulations to guide decisions on planning and management of land
and foreshore use for Keats and surrounding islets.
The content of the new
Keats RLUB, must address the following: the approximate
location, amount, type and density of present and proposed residential
development (including affordable housing, rental housing and special
needs housing, institutional, agricultural, recreational, public
utility, commercial and industrial land and foreshore uses; policies
relating to the preservation, protection, restoration and enhancement
of the natural environment, its ecosystems and biological diversity;
location and phasing of any major publicly owned road, sewer and water
systems; location and type of present and proposed public facilities,
including schools, parks, waste treatment and disposal sites; and
restrictions on the use of land that is subject to hazardous conditions
or that is environmentally sensitive to development.
certain matters lies outside the jurisdiction of the Islands Trust and
are the responsibility of individual property owners, or the Provincial
Government, the Federal Government, the SCRD, or the Coast Garibaldi
Health Region. In some cases, more than one agency may have overlapping
jurisdiction for a matter addressed in the new Keats RLUB. In these
cases, other levels of government and the public are requested to
regard these policies as the stated desires
The process for preparing
and adopting the new Keats Island RLUB is also being done in accordance
with the Islands Trust Act and Local Government Act.
During the development of the new Keats RLUB, the local trust committee
must provide one or more opportunities for consultation with persons,
organizations and authorities that will be affected by the new RLUB.
The RLUB can only be adopted through a statutory process which includes
a public hearing, approval of the Islands Trust Executive Committee,
and approval of the Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s
Services (formerly Municipal Affairs).
The process is virtually
the same as for any municipality or regional district in the province.
However, the LTC is endeavouring to go “above and beyond” the statutory
requirements for community consultation through a number of island-wide
mail-outs, holding meetings both on and off the island, and posting all
relevant information on www.keatsisland.net.
The LTC is also designing
the Keats Review process based on the advice of the Keats Island
Advisory Planning Group (APG). The 8-member APG is appointed by the LTC
to advise on Islands Trust related matters involving Keats, and has
representation from nearly all the communities on Keats.
Where’s the Process at
Phase 2 began in June
2001. A second information mailer was sent out. It included the First
Working Draft of the Keats Island Rural Land Use Bylaw- Part 1
(Working DRAFT 1 – “Keats Island Goals, Objectives, and Policies”),
as well as a Community Response Form/Questionnaire seeking
input on the DRAFT 1 policy document. This document was based on
community input, legislative and Islands Trust Policy requirements,
requirements of other government agencies, technical data and data
gathered during Phase 1. Also, two more community forums were held in
July 2001 to provide additional opportunities for public input.
Since June 2001, approximately 70 Response Forms and three written submissions have been returned. This translates into about 187 pages of written input received during Phase 2, not including the flip chart comments recorded at the July 2001 forums. About 75 islanders attended the forums.
Gillian Saxby, Project
Planner for the Keats Planning Review Process is busy compiling and
analyzing the input. She will be making recommendations to the local
trust committee regarding revisions to the DRAFT RLUB based on this
material and additional consultations being undertaken with the
Eastbourne Community Association, Keats Camp, Barnabas Family
Ministries, other affected individuals and agencies such as the SCRD.
Gillian has other duties
with Islands Trust besides the Keats Planning Review. She is also the
Project Planner for the Hornby Island OCP Review. In addition, she does
research and policy work for the Islands Trust Council on groundwater
management, marine stewardship initiatives and other Trust Area issues.
Thus, Derek Pratt, a
consultant with Planistics Management Inc., has been hired to assemble
the first draft Part 2 of the Keats Island RLUB, which must be
consistent with the policies in the revised Part 1. The revision and
redrafting process will take place throughout this fall and winter.
What are the Next
Spring & Summer 2002. Once all three members of the Gambier LTC believe that subsequent revisions have produced a document that will have broad public support, the Final DRAFT Keats Island Rural Land Use Bylaw will be considered for 1st Reading. At this stage, under a formal statutory review process, the Proposed Bylaw will be referred to government agencies for final comment, posted on-line, and mailed to Keats Islanders. The public will be invited to submit comments at a formal public hearing, to be held on Keats, probably sometime in June or early July 2002.
After the Public Hearing, the LTC will decide to either: (1) give 2nd and 3rd Reading to the Bylaw; (2) amend the Bylaw before 2nd and 3rd Reading; or (3) amend the Bylaw and hold another Public Hearing to consider further public comment. Agency approvals may also be required if revisions are made to the Bylaw.
After 2nd and 3rd Reading, the Bylaw will be sent to the Islands Trust Executive Committee for approval, to confirm that the Bylaw conforms to the legislated “preserve and protect” objective, and the Islands Trust Policy Statement. The Bylaw will then be sent to the Minister of Community, Aboriginal & Women’s Services for approval. After Ministerial approval is given, a 4th Reading and Final Adoption may be given by the LTC – which implements the Bylaw. And the Keats Island Planning Review Process will then be complete.
Who to Contact For
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