Agriculture, climate change, economic development/Village core planning, First Nations protocol agreements, water conservation, and finding ways to protect the shore line were among some of the topics Trustee Sheila Malcolmson put forward as issues she’d like to focus on in the next fiscal year.
At the Sept. 6 Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting at the WI Hall, Planner Chloe Fox noted that trustees have been asked to forward their budget requests for the next fiscal year. Malcolmson pointed out that this information is required by the end of September.
Malcolmson said she had “gone through our Official Community Plan (OCP) topic list and lined it up with some of the items (that are) … planned for (Trust) Council (TC), and also some of the things that I indicated in the election that I wanted to do”.
Some of the items on her list, Malcolmson said, have already been budgeted for, but the LTC has been unable to get to them yet, so they would need to ask to have the funds carried over.
Trustee Gisele Rudischer noted that $19,000 has been budgeted towards the OCP review. Malcolmson said some of those funds were made available because the review included items that are in the TC’s Strategic Plan, “or were statutory, for example riparian area regulations (RAR). Those helped us get the sizable allocation last year”.
Rudischer clarified that the RAR work the LTC has recently done will be coming out of the $19,000. Malcolmson reiterated that if the LTC asks, the remainder may be carried over into the next fiscal year.
Malcolmson said she would like to focus on “implementing some of the zoning ideas in order to enhance local food security by amending our Land Use Bylaws (LUB)”. She noted that the Agriculture Advisory Commission is currently working on this. She said she also wanted to implement a food security “toolkit” that was developed last term.
Regarding climate change work, Malcolmson said she wanted to integrate the OCP policies adopted last term into the LUB. Rudischer said that this work didn’t garner much public support regarding proposals for the TC’s strategic plan. Malcolmson said it was listed as something an LTC could do if it wants. She said whether TC supports it is another question. Rudischer noted that the policy work on this issue is already completed.
Malcolmson thought reviewing the Village core development permit area (DPA) was a carryover from former funding, and an “OCP climate change implementation question for Gabriola”. She saw this as a way to work on economic development and the Village core plan.
Implementing a First Nations protocol agreement and OCP changes were also on Malcolmson’s list, as were: “affordable housing/density transfer/accessory cottage questions that are also OCP implementation”; creating zoning tools for protecting sensitive ecosystems on private land; “identifying density-sending areas” for the development of affordable housing; considering a coastal DPA, including the integration of new steep slopes, eagle perch trees, and eel grass mapping; and considering the use of DPAs “and other zoning tools around rainwater collection and water-safe technologies”.
Malcolmson said not all the things on the list will need to be budgeted for, and some may not be completed, “but those are the things that seem to be the clearest on LUB work, not so much OCP”. Rudischer agreed that this was almost all LUB work to put changes already made to the OCP into effect. She said some of the ideas – such as the DPAs – are new ideas. Malcolmson said the DPAs could “carry out intentions, and probably some of them would need to have OCP amendments to make them align exactly”.
Rudischer asked: “Are we going to do just the (LUB) amendments that support the OCP policy that we’ve already put in, or is everything going to wait until we get our OCP amendments done and then wait until we get our OCP amendments done and then look at everything at once in our LUB?”
Malcolmson said: “To me it depends … on what’s the priority of the Trust committee so far as the outcomes that it wants. … We need to know that we’re aligned on … the policy areas. … I think we need to choose what will have the biggest impact and is the most important”. Noting that they wouldn’t be making any decisions right away, Rudischer said she would give some thought to this issue.
Trustees agreed to leave the ideas with Fox to let them know if they would need a special meeting or a Resolution Without Meeting to set budgets for their work list.
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