bylaws

Keeping livestock regulations: update 13 August 2014

I had a meeting on July 31, 2014, with a group of West Bench horse owners and Chris Garrish, the RDOS planner working on the livestock bylaw.

Three major issues were addressed during the meeting. I have outlined the issues below and noted my recommendation to Chris.  Of course, these are just my recommendations.  Staff will come up with another revision of the draft bylaw based on this meeting and other interactions with the public.

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Owning horses and other livestock

The current bylaw in Area F is basically one horse per acre (0.4 hectare).  If your property is greater than 2 hectares (just under 5 acres), the number of horses you can have is not limited by the bylaw.

Unfortunately, our bylaw contains some set-back provisions that conflict with with the one-horse/acre rule.  The set-backs, which were proposed by the BC Government, generally require 30m set-backs from each property line for the horse area.  In most cases, these set-backs are not feasible for most of the lots on the West Bench.  So the current bylaw is really a mess.

Accordingly, RDOS staff has initiated a process to update our livestock rules.  The first part is to simplify the set-back requirement so it applies only to buildings, not pasture.  The second part is to update the lot size cut-offs as follow:

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The new equipment at the Peter Brothers pit

Update 15 Nov 2015:

This seems to be a recurring problem. From time to time Peter Bros. needs additional capacity for paving and brings in a second mobile asphalt plant.  Last year when Peter Bros. was paving the airport runways in the middle of the night they struck a deal with the PIB to locate the second plant in the south west corner of the Westhills Aggregates pit.  This was a slightly improved situation for Area F residents because the smoke and noise were farther away from houses. 

Derelict vehicles

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Although related to unsightly/untidy, derelict vehicles are prohibited under the Area F zoning bylaw.  Specifically:

Unless otherwise specifically permitted in this Bylaw, no parcel must be used for the wrecking, salvage or storage of more than two derelict vehicles or as a salvage operation. “Derelict vehicle” includes any vehicle, except a farm vehicle, that is not displaying a current license, pursuant to Provincial regulations, and which is not enclosed within a garage or carport.

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Area F owner's manual

Regional Districts are strange creatures.  Unlike municipalities, in which the local government has wide-ranging responsiblities and a centralized budget with which to operate, regional districts are service-based.  That is, a regional district can provide any service as long residents agree to pay for it.  Thus, if you look at your tax bill, you will see line items for things such as "noise control", "building inspection", "Okanagan Regional Library", and so on.  Each of these services was at one point approved by the electorate. And each service has its own separate budget. This makes sense to me, given the substantial differences between (say) rural Summerland and quasi-rural West Bench.  Residents pay for what they get and, just as importantly, generally do not pay for what they do not get.

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