Blogs

RDOS proposal unfair tax policy (Conservation Fund)

The following letter was submitted to the Penticton Herald (link here).  I had something to do with the structure of the tax to support the Conservation Fund so I feel I should respond to some of the points Mr. Llewellyn raises.  My comments are bolded below.

Re: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen’s proposed Bylaw No. 2690, 2016.

After spending 40 years dealing with property appraisal, assessment administration and tax policy issues the RDOS’s new tax on all of us is flawed. As a past president of the International Association of Assessing Officers, I strongly recommend every resident of the RDOS oppose the quiet introduction of this bylaw for the following reasons:

Cattle guard is gone

The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure removed the Bartlett cattle guard today.  We asked on behalf of some residents but it was MoTI's decision.

The cattle guard was completely unnecessary due to the PIB's new fence configuration and cattle guard adjacent to the Westhills Aggregates entrance (see previous posting).  Ours was a cattle guard with no fence attached to it. It did absolutely zero to stop the horses.  Instead it was just a nuisance for motorists, cyclists, and nearby residents alike.

On the positive side, it served as a pretty effective speed bump and waker-upper (especially on frosty mornings if you hit it while still cornering).  Hopefully folks will continue to moderate their speed as they approach the intersection with Lambert.

Patient Care Tower construction

Interior Health has a webcam (click image below) just in case you want to check on the progress of the new Penticton Regional Hospital Patient Care Tower.

This will be much more interesting once the project is complete and they time-lapse the images.  Until then the webcam provides a quick and easy way to check the weather in Penticton!

Issues: 

What does a hectare look like?

I have had some questions about the "one hectare rule", which was enacted sometime around 2010 at the insistence of the Province of BC. The rationale behind the rule was an increase in septic system failures in residential neighborhoods.  The problem is especially dangerous/expensive for properties located near lakes and other sources of drinking water.  We face a slightly different problem on the West Bench: silty and unstable soils.  Indeed, we just about lost a front end loader in a sinkhole while doing work in Mariposa Park.

 At bottom, the rule means that the minimum parcel sizes specified in the zoning bylaws are subject to "servicing requirements" (basically sewer and adequate water).  Lots without sewer require a septic system and the minimum parcel size for a conventional septic system is now 1 Ha (or about 2.5 acres).

UBCM update

I attended the last half of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference in Victoria last week.  I did not attend on Monday and Tuesday because I had to work.

I mostly attend UBCM for the ministerial meetings and talk to people in an informal setting.  My own priorities for ministerial meetings were:

Issues: 

Lastest on asphalt plant

Notice went out recently to residents adjacent to the Peter Bros. asphalt plant regarding a second  (temporary) processing unit.  This has caused some concern on the West Bench so an update is in order:

Bottom line: Peter Bros. has withdrawn their temporary use permit (TUP) application for the second plant and has decided instead to locate the plant on PIB lands (see notice on main RDOS site).  This decision effectively ends the RDOS's involvement in the issue this time around.  RDOS bylaws do not apply to First Nations lands.

Motocross in Meadow Valley

Update 3 November: The RDOS has received a detailed legal review of this situation and has concluded that a motocross track DOES violate the RDOS's existing AG3 zoning bylaw.  The owner has been advised of this.

The RDOS has received numerous complaints about the construction of a motocross track on Agricultural Land Reserve farmland in Meadow Valley.

The RDOS generally has very limited control over what people do on their own land.  However, there are two existing bylaws that are relevant in this situation and a new bylaw that will be relevant in the future:

Neighborhoods: 

West Bench garbage pickup is NOT changing... at least not yet

The following is from Cameron Baughen, the RDOS Solid Waste Management Coordinator:

The City of Penticton used undressed admail  to send out a Curbside Bin brochure which went to every home with ‘V2A’ postal code. That included West Bench, Red Wing and the Carmi area in Area ‘D’. This has confused a number of our residents.  There are no changes to the RDOS curbside program for West Bench and Red Wing... The RDOS is only looking at the potential for a garbage cart program in the future. Any RDOS cart program would not be implemented until July 2018, at the very earliest, and only in communities where it makes sense.  

Neighborhoods: 
Issues: 

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