Tag Archives: OCP

Op-ed: Reflections on the Cortes Bylaw update meeting

The SRD planning meeting in Mansons Hall did not go as planned. I don’t think the group was opposed to further densification, as much as people just wanted to talk. I think we need to hear insight from some of our respected community thought leaders before placing stickies on a map to indicate where we think development should happen.

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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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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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FOCI’s Recommendations for the Official Community Plan

On Monday, Dec 11, the Strathcona Regional District will be holding an open house at Mansons Hall, pertaining to updating the Cortes Island zoning bylaws. This is the first of a series of steps that will also include a revision of the island’s Official Community Plan. The Friends of Cortes Island has prepared a 22 page study of suggested recommendations for revisions to Cortes Island’s plan for the future. 

“It’s really critically important at this moment in history that we make sure that every decision made in the community plan is made taking climate change and  climate adaptation into account,” said Forrest Berman-Hatch, author of the report. 

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Mark Vonesch: How A Little Government Can Address The Housing Crisis

At 9:30 AM on Dec 2, Regional Director Mark Vonesch will be joining the Cortes Housing Society to host a community forum in Mansons Hall.* In today’s interview, he gave a sampling of how a little government could help make housing more affordable 

“We are in a housing crisis. Housing is expensive to build and we don’t have enough of it. What can we do as a community in Cortes to get more affordable housing done? Like a lot of issues, we have to approach this from multiple angles. There’s not one thing that’s going to  solve the problem. It’s basically three things.”

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