FOREST LAND STEWARDSHIP ZONE
As part of our conservation development, Renewal Land Company worked with the Comox-Strathcona Regional District to create a new zone called Forest Land Stewardship. This new zone permits the creation of a residential strata subdivision, but requires that a minimum of 60% of the property be permanently designated for conservation or forest management. No more than 40% of the property can be designated for residential use. The Forest Land Stewardship zone also requires that a conservation covenant be registered on the property.
The Forest Land Stewardship zone is now officially part of the Cortes Island zoning bylaw. It has also been integrated into the Cortes Island Official Community Plan. Click here to download a PDF copy of the Forest Land Stewardship zone, and the associated policies from the Official Community Plan.
RENEWAL LAND COMPANY'S REZONING TO FOREST LAND STEWARDSHIP
In order to proceed with our Siskin Lane conservation development, RLC needed to rezone several properties from “Forestry” zoning to “Forest Land Stewardship”. RLC began the rezoning process in January 2004. On June 12th, 2004 the application went to a formal public hearing on Cortes, giving the community an opportunity to give their feedback on the application. Close to 200 people attended the public hearing and 195 written submissions were made to the Regional District. Of the 195 submissions, 169 were in support of RLC’s proposal. A further 18 were opposed, 8 were un-related and 9 were duplicate submissions. All of the comments from this hearing are public information and can be viewed by contacting the Comox-Strathcona Regional District at (250) 334-6000.
RLC successfully completed the rezoning process in October 2004, resulting in the designation of four Forest Land Stewardship properties.
BACKGROUND: How the Rezoning Process Works
The zoning process takes several months. Once an application has been submitted to the Regional District it is sent to the Regional Director and the Cortes Advisory Planning Committee for review and discussion. The application is also circulated to several other groups, including the Ministries of Transportation and Water, Land and Air Protection. Feedback from all of these groups is then incorporated into a report, prepared by Regional District staff.
The next step is for the application to be reviewed by a Planning Committee made up of Regional Directors. This committee makes recommendations on whether the application should proceed.
If approved by the Planning Committee, the application proceeds to 1st and 2nd reading by the Regional Board. It then comes to an official public hearing on Cortes where members of the community can formally express their opinions. A public hearing committee then reviews all comments and feedback to this point, and makes a recommendation to the Regional Board about whether the application should proceed. The final stages for the application are 3rd reading, approval by the provincial government and a 4th and final reading by the Regional Board. At any point in this process the application may be referred, tabled or denied.
The rezoning process takes a minimum of between eight and twelve months.
HYDROLOGY ASSESSMENT REPORT
As part of the Forest Land Stewardship zoning and subdivision process Renewal Land Company completed water assessments in order to ensure there will be an adequate supply of potable water for residential use, as well as to ensure that this conservation development will not impact existing water users in the area. A hydrology assessment was prepared by professional engineers as part of this process.