(A letter to the editor from CSRD Area B Regional Director Loni Parker)
I would like to clarify a few points about the topic of boundary expansion as it relates to the article printed on Sept. 4. (City, CSRD director at odds over RAP proposal communication, jurisdiction, News, Sept. 4.)
The City of Revelstoke did not request $25,000 from the CSRD for a boundary extension study for the Greeley Creek watershed or the lands associated with the proposed Revelstoke Adventure Park.
In the article, Mayor Raven states that “the Regional District did not have funding in the budget at this time.” This is correct, however due to the fact that no request for funding had been received by the CSRD there was no reason for the CSRD to put it in the budget. We did not turn down their request for funding as no request was received.
There are no letters in our files regarding a request for funding and no discussion has taken place with myself or any of the staff at the CSRD about boundary extension until we received a copy of the June 3 letter from the Mayor of Revelstoke to Front Counter BC which inferred that the city and the CSRD “are going” through a boundary extension process.
When the letter of June 3 came to light I discussed the issue with our CSRD Chief Administrative Officer and he had no knowledge of any discussions. He checked with planning staff as well to ensure that no discussions had taken place.
To be clear, as I stated previously, prior to June 3 there had been no discussion about boundary extension by city staff to the staff at the CSRD and there has been no discussion by the Mayor of Revelstoke [also Chair of the CSRD] with me as Director of Area B about this issue.
There are only three letters about this topic. The first letter dated June 3, 2013 was sent to Front Counter BC [MFLNRO] from the mayor and it states that “funds have been budgeted in 2013 in the amount of $25,000 to investigate the possibility” of Boundary Extension. [Times Review Editor’s note: The very next sentence in that letter states, “The City is requesting matching funds from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Province of British Columbia to complete this determination.”] If that is the case there should be a record of a line item in the city budget and council should have approved the request to the CSRD.
Also the city should have, at the least, followed protocol and had an initial discussion with the CSRD to advise us that council wanted to investigate the aforesaid. No discussion took place.
By stating in the letter the mayor sent to Front Counter BC that a request for funding was sent to us it implies that a process is underway. That is not correct.
The second letter regarding this issue was sent from the CSRD on June 18, 2013 to the City of Revelstoke in response to the carbon copy we received of the June 3 letter from the mayor to the MFLNRO.
In that letter we clarified that there has been no discussion about boundary extension and that the CSRD has not received a request for funding from the city. We sent a copy of that letter to Front Counter BC as well.
The fact of the matter is that by including the paragraph about boundary extension in the City of Revelstoke’s letter of concerns regarding the proposed Adventure Park, red flags were raised and a wrench was thrown into the process. The request for tenure on Crown Land by the proponents of the Adventure Park has been now been effectively shelved by Front Counter BC.
The third letter I am aware of is dated June 27, 2013 from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations to the applicants for the Adventure Tourism License of Occupation.
Paragraph 3 states: “the City of Revelstoke staff are researching a possible boundary extension which would give them jurisdictional control over the watershed [currently the proposal is outside City limits]. The City has requested that the boundary extension process be resolved before they provide direction on your Adventure Park. Because of the proximity of this project to the City and its watershed, we cannot consider approving this project without the support of the City of Revelstoke.”
Discussion has taken place about the Adventure Park proposal by various committees including the Area B Advisory Planning Commission, the Economic Development Committee of Council and Area B and the CSRD Revelstoke Economic Development Commission. These committees have given their support to the proposal with the caveat that the Greeley Creek watershed remains undisturbed. I am concerned about Greeley Creek and my support for any proposed project also includes the caveat that the watershed is protected.
This can happen without a boundary extension process.
Any proposal that involves tenure on Crown land or re-zoning of private land to allow for a proposed activity needs to be vetted through the appropriate agencies including regional and municipal governments. In local government, protocol is that there is dialogue among elected officials followed by a motion by either the city council members or the Board of Directors of a Regional District to give direction to staff in regards to conveying the sentiments of the majority at the table of elected representatives in any letter to senior levels of government. Letters sent by either the chair of a regional district board or a mayor are considered to represent the majority of the respective boards or councils.
In regards to this application I have, to date, not seen or heard of any evidence that direction was given from the city council to put the issue of boundary extension on the table. I know there was clearly no direction from the board of the CSRD to pursue extension in this case. As regional director this causes great concern for me as the lands in question are in Area B and I do not see where the authority came from to direct the Mayor of Revelstoke to include the issue of boundary extension as it relates to this particular request for tenure.
Because of the statement from the Mayor of Revelstoke to the Province, the proponents of the Revelstoke Adventure Park and residents of both the CSRD Area B and the City of Revelstoke have been deprived of due public process in this case.
If you have any questions on this or other matters please call me at 250-837-5804.
CSRD Area B