Tag Archives: Meredith Starkey

Area C Opts-in; New Details About The Short Term Rental Accommodation Act

Area C ‘opted-in’ to the Short Term Rental Accommodation Act at the SRD Board meeting yesterday. There was a spirited discussion in which the Director from Area D and two of his Campbell River colleagues discussed their reservations. Regional Director Mark Vonesch showed everyone an exception that would allow some absentee landlords to continue operating their short term rentals. When the final vote was taken, Area C’s motion to opt-in was approved with only two dissenting Directors. 

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Community Meeting for Cortes Zoning Bylaw Update

Around 60 people turned out for the Strathcona Regional District’s (SRD) zoning bylaw meeting in Mansons Hall at 1 PM on Wednesday, March 6. 

The meeting went very differently from how the SRD planned it. There was to have been a short presentation, after which participants were to have gathered around two maps and put sticky dots on the properties where the bylaws should be changed to allow for greater densification. Instead, this was a community conversation.

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Coming to Cortes & Quadra:  SRD Poverty Reduction Plan

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) received a $147,700 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities to prepare a region-wide poverty reduction plan. They will be holding meetings in Campbell River, Tahsis, Gold River, Cortes Island, Quadra Island and Zeballos at the end of the month. 

“Our plans are only as good as the information we receive and we really, really want to be able to address poverty in a holistic, honest and earnest way. We can’t do that without the community. So we really need you guys to come out and to talk to us. Give us your thoughts, all of your ideas, your criticisms, your comments,  your questions. Whatever you need us to know, because all of that feeds into the plan, and it makes it more robust, and just everything we do is going to help alleviate poverty in the region as a whole,” explained Meredith Starkey, Manager of Parks and Planning at the SRD.” 

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SRD Zoning Bylaw Open House

On Monday December 11th, four SRD staff came to Cortes to hold a local zoning hearing at noon, followed by a three hour open house starting at 1pm. Cortes residents were invited to provide input to assist SRD in revising and updating the zoning bylaw for Area B.

SRD was represented by Senior Manager Aniko Nelson, along with Planning and Parks Manager Meredith Starkey and Planners Annie Girdley and John Neill. They brought with them several large signboards, and placed them at tables in the hall. The first table explained what a Zoning Bylaw is; subsequent tables were focussed on four main topics: Water Zones (foreshore, waterfront, harbours), Cannabis Production and Sale, Housing Density, and Short Term Rentals.

There was no formal presentation. On each table, a large sheet of paper presented various options for zoning law revision, and attendees were invited to vote for their favourite options by applying coloured stickers, as well as writing comments directly on the sheet. SRD staff also provided official forms for written feedback, which were gathered in a large “ballot box”.

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Approved: Area C’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan

Quadra Island’s Community Plan was drawn up in 2007 and some of the Outer Discovery have land use plans dating back to the 1990s, but Area C needed an overall comprehensive vision. The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) started the consultation process leading to an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan in 2019. Then COVID arrived, and everything was put on hold. Last year the SRD recruited a community focus group, hired a facilitator and proceeded to finish the job. On Friday, June 16, The SRD Board announced the approval of the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan for Electoral Area C (The Discovery Islands & Mainland Inlets).

“Anytime we do any sort of comprehensive planning process, one of the biggest challenges that we have is finding common ground amongst all  the disparate ideas, visions, goals and challenges of people living in different areas – and with being diverse people themselves.  In this case because it is a vision for the entire region, it was much more important that we were able to come together, find that common ground and that shared vision.  That required a lot of intense discussion and a lot of work together,” explained Meredith Starkey. SRD Manager of parks and planning.  

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