West Bench

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:

Issues: 
Neighborhoods: 

West Bench pump house & path ribbon cutting

Thanks to all of you who attended the ribbon cutting for the West Bench pump house today. A couple of people have asked me about the numbers in my remarks, so I have posted my script (which I mostly followed) below:

This water project can be summarized with two numbers: 6 and 18 million.

Six different governments had to work together to get this job done.  That’s 7 if you count Interior Health as its own level of government. 8 if you count Fortis**.

Obviously, the RDOS and the City of Penticton are heavily invested in an ongoing partnership.  However, this partnership is laid on a foundation created by the West Bench Irrigation District.  Building the project required a continuous give and take between various provincial ministries and the PIB.

Neighborhoods: 
Issues: 

West Bench votes for Penticton water

It won’t come as a surprise that West Bench residents are strongly in favour of signing on to a deal that will see the community buying treated water from Penticton.

In a referendum Saturday, West Bench residents voted 85 per cent in support of a deal the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen made with the City of Penticton to purchase water at a rate of 22 cents per cubic metre. A total of 324 West Bench residents voted in favour of the deal in the referendum — as well as in the advance poll — while 62 were opposed.

April 2012 summary of West Bench water deal

Below is a link to the presentation I gave on April 2, 2012, to West Bench residents.  The purpose was to gather support for the proposed "bulk water deal" with the City of Penticton.

West Bench Presentation (02 April 2012

I have attached this as a Power Point presentation because it contains animations.  A free Power Point view can be downloaded from Microsoft. A non-animated PDF version is below:

Issues: 
Neighborhoods: 

Focus Engineering report: West Bench Supply options (2011 predesign)

I have requested an electronic copy of the predesign report for the West Bench supply options.  I will post it here as soon as I get it. The report provides much more technical detail about the alternatives (e.g., pump horsepower, waterline routing, and so on).

Update 28 July 2011: The focus pre-design report has been posted to the RDOS website. Click here.

 

 

 

Some very rough costs for the new alternatives

I have attached the latest version of our internal calculations for three of the West Bench upgrade options (status quo, bulk water, new UV).  These are still very rough and pre-design.  However, they should give you some sense for the relative costs of the different alternatives.  They are also the numbers used in the July 22, 2011, newsletter and FAQ sent to all West Bench residents.

West Bench water system page on the main RDOS web site

Now that West Bench water is the responsiblity of the RDOS, a page has been added to the main RDOS web site.

The official RDOS page will house all the official RDOS news on the water system and the 2011 upgrade project.  I will continue to run this as a "shadow" West Bench water on this site to provide additional information and permit more resident feedback (each page on this site permits comments).

Be Heard! Register for the online version of the West Bench Water Upgrade Survey

The RDOS is currently fleshing out 1+3 alternatives for the West Bench water system upgrade (the status quo is not reallly an option since it does not meet IHA's standards; it is included only to provide a baseline against which to evaluate the cost of the other alternatives).  The fourth option (not included in the July 22nd newsletter to residents) is the extraterritorial arrangement with the City of Penticton that failed to attract sufficient support in the 2010 referendum.  I have asked RDOS staff to include it for completeness.

Issues: 
Neighborhoods: 

Public consultation regarding the 2011 West Bench Water upgrade project

At the request of the West Bench Irrigation District’s (WBID) Board of Trustees, the Province of British Columbia has officially dissolved WBID and transferred responsibility for the West Bench water system to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). This will ensure access to federal and provincial grants necessary for water system upgrades required by the Interior Health Authority (IHA) as well as ongoing operations and maintenance. In addition, a number of options for improvements are being proposed.

Although this water project has been going on for many years and residents have a good understanding of the issues, the RDOS is committed to a full process of public consultation BEFORE making a formal recommendation to residents.  I envision public consultation consisting of three stages:

Neighborhoods: 

Pages