An aerial view of several islands

Creating an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan for Area C

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is developing an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) for Area C. the Discovery Islands and Mainland Inlets.

Meredith Starkey, the Manager for Parks and Planning, described this as a broad level vision plan which can lead to more specific policies and regulations.  

Group discussion Photo by Headway on Unsplash 

“For instance, building permits are currently not required on Quadra Island but they are in other areas of the SRD. Those are community level decisions, to say how far down do we want to take these ideas and codify them into legally binding and enforceable regulation,” she explained.

“The Outer Islands have a local area plan, but they don’t have an official community plan and they don’t have zoning bylaws.” 

An ICSP could lead to the the creation of an official community plan for the Outer Islands. 

Map of Area C – Courtesy SRD website

Starkey said the SRD received a grant to create an ICPS for Area C in 2018.

“That project wasn’t concluded, so we do have some remaining grant budget and  a lot of consultation information from when that project started. We’re relaunching now with a different approach. We are trying to piece together what we’ve heard and confirm and collaborate with community a little bit more, to make sure that the final plan actually reflects the will of the community.”

“We’ve initiated this with a sort of a targeted focus group, calling it a task force. We’ve been soliciting interest from residents in the Outer Islands and on Quadra to serve as  our working group in order to provide the content and confirm the material.”

Ideally there will be about 16 members, half of which come from Quadra and the remainder from the Outer Islands. The SRD wants representation from across demographic groups: the business community, parents, seniors etc. 

Starkey and Aniko Nelson, Senior Manager of Community Services, will represent the SRD. 

Shannon Gordon, from the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, has been hired to facilitate the process.

View from Quadra Island – courtesy the SRD

The ICSP must be completed by the end of 2022. 

“It’s a very quick tight timeline for us. We are hoping to meet at least probably three or four times with task force over those over the next coming months,” explained Starkey.

“There will be an opportunity for the community more broadly to take a look. We’re calling it a plan on a page, but the idea is that there would be something that we could share easily with a wide range of people to get some comments back that will probably be I want to say November early December.”

There is a lot going on at the SRD right now. They are looking into the housing crisis. The Connected Coast project is underway. Starkey, herself, is working on transportation plans. On top of all of that, there will be a regional election on Saturday, October 15, 2022. 

“I would encourage anyone who’s interested to check in with the SRD website and social media platforms from time to time,” said Starkey.    

Top image credit: Aerial view of Surge Narrows – Photo courtesy the SRD

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