Countdown begins for Blewett residents and the Official Community Plan
By Suzy Hamilton, The Nelson Daily
Blewett residents have about three weeks remaining to review the Area E Official Community Plan and vote on whether they will join the rest of Area E in the land use plan.
The vote, called a plebiscite, is non-binding.
However Area E director Ramona Faust says the vote result will determine if Blewett will join Balfour, Harrop/Procter, Mountain Station and Ymir Road residents in producing a visioning document for the future.
“What the Blewett voters say will go,” she said.
Faust said that 72 per cent of Blewett survey respondents agreed that management was an important part of their community. But as far as an official community plan, the participants who were undecided, when combined with those opposed, outnumbered those in favour in Blewett.
“We just didn’t know the community’s intentions,” she said. “We were getting mixed messages.
“The RDCK has no interest or capacity to get involved in property use.”
However, some Blewett residents remained unconvinced.
Retired Blewett resident Bob Rollick is opposed to the plan.
“We do not need the government to give us a sense of community,” he said. “Have we needed it for the last 115 years? The answer is no.”
Rollick is concerned the plan will lead to zoning which will affect, among other uses, mining and logging.
Tania Krol is among the undecided.
“We’d like certain restrictions, like we don’t want a dump next door, but we don’t want someone telling us what our chicken coop should look like.”
Martin Carver is in favour of the plan.
“The plan gives me and my neighbours assurance that developments will be consistent with our community’s vision. And it backs up decision makers to maintain the community’s values.”
Voters have until February 1 to deliver their ballots to the Regional District of Central Kootenay office. A public hearing will be scheduled after the results are tallied.
Changes to the plan have been made as a result of public input over the past months. The new plan can be viewed at the RDCK website www.rdck.bc.ca
“Through the land use survey, a majority of people said the RDCK should control characteristics like height, lighting fencing, and sewage drainage of larger cluster housing developments and control screening and light pollution from industrial developments to ensure the impact on existing properties is reduced and this is what the plan has included,” said Faust.
“People who develop or sell properties are concerned about extra regulation.”