South Wellington & the Future of Rural Community What is Rural? …Here is what we heard from you… *quiet atmosphere *tightly knit *scenery *elder & youth involvement *wildlife *tranquility *sense of community *community history Perhaps these definitions sum up your feelings… “The rural lands designation is characterized by larger lots (greater than 2 hectares) + low population density. Traditional rural activities such as intensive agriculture operations and hobby farms, mixed with the large lot residential subdivisions, dominate the landscape.” - electoral A OCP ““The most common way of defining rural is negative - that which is not urban. Because rural is a residual category made up of all territory not classified as urban, the definition encompasses a vast array of geographical, environmental, economic, and social diversity (Troughton, 1999). “ – Canadian Government Official Community Plan “Rural” South Wellington Transect School Fire Hall Rural Resource Rural Store Industrial Rural Lands Residential Gravel Residential Historic Density Light Heavy Lumber Agriculture Home Based Business Agriculture Morden Mine Site Agriculture Golf course South Wellington‟s rural residential, rural resources and rural lands Rural Residential Rural Resource Rural Lands The Strengths of South Wellington Housing stock of South Wellington Dwellings by Years of Construction 5% 8% 16% 2% before 1946 1946-1960 19% 1961-1970 14% 1971-1980 1981-1985 6% 1986-1990 1991-1995 17% 13% 1996-2000 2001-2006 Population of South Wellington Population Age Divisions 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0-4 5-9 10-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84 84 and over Factors challenging the rural lifestyle Physical Encroaching Development Traffic Infrastructure Cultural *Housing *Population *Keeping the young in the community and being involved South Wellington Environment and Water Environment and Sustainability Sustainable Development Potential Assets •High density, small lot mining development -A good model to follow •Location of industry and commerce along the Trans-Canada Highway “ the best of all evils” -concentrates less appealing development to one area • Green space and environmentally sensitive areas -could have high value in preserving rural atmosphere and maintaining biodiversity of the area Sustainable Development : Potential Issues and Problems •Physical separation of residential created by the Trans-Canada Highway and industry/commercial development -takes away the connectedness of the community -increases automobile use -safety concerns when crossing highway on foot •Lack of a central residential node to concentrate development -not having a central node prevents small business from establishing in the area - increasing need for automobile usage for simple items such as grocery, school supplies, etc. • Only one corner store, located beside highway also a gas station -does not encourage walking and bicycling to shop, especially for those living outside current residential development Location & Vulnerability of Aquifers Services It is unlikely the area will get municipal water and sewer without significant investment in development. This is due to cost of approx. $1 million per kilometre of running services Septic Fields Density of Septic fields linked to incidence of certain viral and bacterial infections Simple guidelines can prevent this Policies regulating density and maintenance can be tools to regulate growth Wells Can be susceptible to, and can also be the point source of a contamination City of Chilliwack has recommendations regarding construction and maintenance of wells and septic fields Again, policies regulating the construction and placement of wells can be a tool to control development. Future of South Wellington Growing an Economic Vision Promote Community By Community Farms/parks Create Festival Sites Retain Rural Feeling Community Farms 1 Farm, many owners, Neighborhood support Less Risk, Less Cost Promotes togetherness Provides Education Promotes Younger Farmers Offers Low Income Assistance Typical Community Farm Land Trusts and Conservation of Land for Community Use Keating Farm, Duncan, BC Providence Farm, Duncan BC Merv Wilkinson’s WildWood, Yellow Point, BC Festival Sites Both Small and Large Ways to strengthen your rural community * Encourage home/farm based business * Provide a new service * Improve the community’s reputation * Exploit community resources * Keep youth in the community Heritage Node Sponsor Heritage Programs Create Signage and Awareness Promote Morden Mine Site Build on existing heritage to construct the future village Possible Alternative Scenarios •Designate a central node for the area • concentrate development around this node, creating a compact community which: -might draw more small home-based business, possibly in multi-use building fashion, mixed zoning -could encourage a small, true general store in the core, providing an option for people who would otherwise drive elsewhere -would be a good area to establish a farmers market, showcasing locally grown products -provides an area for essential community establishments to exist, reducing need to commute into Nanaimo Cobble Hill Post Office. Source: www.ourbc.com/.../cobble_hill.htm Possible Alternative Scenarios Continued •Increase and improve infrastructure to; encourage alternative transport methods reduce environmental impact of current auto-oriented setup •Create a pedestrian bridge at Morden Rd. and Trans-Canada Highway intersectio •could help establish a better connection between the two main residential areas •Upgrade sidewalks, wider and possibly raised, for safety of pedestrians and convenience •Create bike lanes throughout community Cycling Streets in Kelowna, B.C. Source: kelownabikes.wordpress.com/ Possible Alternative Scenarios Continued •Crack-down on industrial and commercial pollution along Trans-Canada Highway altering current zoning to something more suitable, grandfather the current occupations •Preserve environmentally sensitive areas of South Wellington preserved as covenants, parks, walking trails enhancing the rural atmosphere; protecting important environmental aspects of the community Pedestrian Overpass in Omaha, Nebraska Cortez Island Forested Walking Trail Source: omahamidcenturymodern.blogsome.com/2006/10/ Source: www.cortesisland.com/renewal/parks.html Conclusions South Wellington has a Dynamic future With increased income generators By promoting Community By promoting Tourism and recreation While protecting environment and water By encouraging land conservation Through containment of industry Resources Smart Growth BC - http://smartgrowth.bc.ca/ - Detailed site that outlines numerous techniques to create smart growth developments. Smart Growth BC is a non-profit organization that provides consultation with communities in implementing smart growth. Smart Growth Canada Network - http://www.smartgrowth.ca/ - Provides much information on smart growth research and issues related to smart growth, on a national scale. Renewal Land Company - http://www.cortesisland.com/renewal/parks.html - Example of park development and land conservancy issues, focusing on Cortes Island. Information from BC Stats: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/cen06/profiles/detailed/21010195.pdf Official Community Plan Area „A‟ OCP 2001 Comments From OCP Review Strong support to limiting and Reducing Industrial Lands Preserving Farmland and Rural Integrity Beck Lake Protection Lots of support and non-support for watercourse protection(minimum comments for protection of Cassidy Aquifer) Strong objections to Airport Expansion Area „A‟ 2001 OCP South Wellington Industrial Lands Support for proposed changes by residents adjacent to industrial lands to change land use from rural residential to light industrial. Industrial Lands expanded along Fielding Road due to lack of objection by adjacent properties. RDN expanded to create contiguous form. Some properties not allowed to change land use to industrial due to not being contiguous and outside the building inspection area. OCP Policy # 4 Expansions to this designation shall not be considered. South Wellington Light Industrial Comprehensive Development Strict Landscaping Regulations for Recreational Vehicle and Storage businesses only. Area „A‟ 2001 OCP Airport Lands “Nanaimo Regional Airport: Portions of the Airport Lands have relatively high agricultural capability. Uses of these capability lands that do not compromise their long term productivity should be encouraged. The higher agricultural capability of lands should be identified for future consideration. Note that the Victoria Airport leases portions of its land base out for agricultural use.” Wayne Haddow, PAg Regional Agrologist Area „G‟ OCP Review Process 1. May 2006 – Newsletter #1 OCP Background info, List of public meeting times 5 public meetings held in June. Some of the topics included Environmental Protection, Improving Mobility, Enhancing and Maintaining Parkland, Containing Urban Sprawl, Protecting Rural Integrity, and Improving Servicing Efficiency 2. August 2007 – Newsletter #2 Results from the Public Meetings Workshop Times Announced. Topics created from input during public meetings. Workshop Topics: Parks, Recreation and Community Amenities, Environmental Protection, Land Use in Urban Areas, Water and Sewer Servicing, Land Use in Rural Areas and Transportation and Mobility 3. January 2007 – Newsletter #3 Results from the Workshops Analyze results and create a draft OCP 4. September 2007 – Newsletter #4 Highlights of proposed Changes to the OCP OCP amendments based on comments and suggestions by stakeholder groups Area „G‟ OCP Review Process Typical Public Meeting Questionnaire Environmental Protection 1. Do you agree with the proposed environmental protection policies in the Draft Official Community Plan? a) If you do, what do you like about the environmental protection policies and how could they be improved? b) If you don’t agree, what environmental protection policy(s)do you disagree with, why do you disagree with them, and how would you improve them. 2. Do you have any suggestions on how the Regional District of Nanaimo could improve environmental protection within Electoral Area 'G'. Area „G‟- Land Use in Rural Areas Workshop Summary What uses are compatible with preserving rural character? General Outcomes: In general, the workshop participants desire to protect the ground water resources and maintain and support agricultural and forestry operations in Electoral Area 'G'. OCP Revision: changes as a result of workshop outcomes 5.1 Rural and Rural Residential Land Use Designations OBJECTIVES: 3. Encourage farm activities on productive agricultural lands and on any lands capable of supporting viable agricultural activities. Area „G‟- Land Use in Rural Areas Workshop Summary What are possible ways of maintaining the Electoral Area's rural character? General Outcomes: The workshop participants identified a wide array of options for maintaining the rural character of Electoral Area 'G'. Common themes included supporting agriculture and large parcel sizes as well as controlling density and limiting development based on the availability of water. OCP Revision: changes as a result of workshop outcomes 5.1 Rural and Rural Residential Land Use Designations OBJECTIVES: 4 . Provide for continued rural residential opportunities without contributing to further rural sprawl Land Use in Rural Areas Rural Resource Land Objectives Area „A‟ 1. Preserve and enhance the distinctive rural character of the Rural Lands. 2. Protect continued uses of parcels as rural lands. Rural Resource Land Objectives Area „G‟ 1. Maintain the renewable natural resource land base and protect it from activities that may diminish resource value and potential. 2. Encourage more comprehensive management of the resource land base. 3. Protect the environment. 4. Encourage and protect outdoor recreational opportunities. Area „G‟- Environmental Protection Workshop Q1: Where are the important environmental features located and what types of environmentally sensitive areas should be recognized in the OCP as deserving protection? General Outcomes: The comments and discussions indicated a strong support for protecting the natural environment and identifying and protecting all knows water features (riparian areas) within Electoral Area 'G'. In addition, groundwater resources, both quantity and quality appeared to be of key importance and should be protected. Area „G‟- Environmental Protection Groundwater Resources Area „G‟ Objectives: 1. Support and encourage further research, inventories, and monitoring of ground resources within the Plan Area. 2. Ensure that development applications and proposed subdivisions do not have affect on the quantity or quality of groundwater both today and into the future. 3. Encourage a comprehensive and innovative approach to water conservation Area „A‟ Objectives: 4. Recognize and protect the Cassidy aquifer and other aquifers in the Plan Area Environmentally Sensitive Features Electoral Area ‘A’ Policies Electoral Area ‘G’ Policies Identify and protect environmentally Identify, protect, conserve, restore, and sensitive features of Plan Area. enhance environmentally sensitive areas Encourage and support community Ensure that site specific evaluations of stewardship of environmentally properties with environmentally sensitive features. sensitive features through the development process and encourage evaluations to occur prior to land alteration. Development shall conform to “Develop With Care: Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Development in British Columbia” as amended and/or replaced from time to time. Develop With Care: Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Development in British Columbia: Document prepared by the Ministry of Environment that provides province-wide guidelines for maintaining environmental values during the development of urban and rural lands Parks, Recreation and Community Services Area „G‟ Workshop Results Suggestions for Area „A‟ Retain the existing 20% Retain and expand current park/green space currently enjoyed parkland, perhaps seek new in Electoral Area 'G land suitable for parks or recreation. Ways to acquire new parklands and trails Maintained as public land (e.g. Crown land) Purchase Agreement with other agency (eg. trail on highway right-of-way) Subdivision – criteria for accepting park through dedication As a community amenity through a density bonus As a requirement of rezoning Development Cost Charge for park Parks, Recreation and Community Services Electoral Area ‘G’ Electoral Area ‘A’ nd Area G Changes after 2 Draft Suggestions for Area A It is strongly preferred that land being Employ same Strategy considered for park land be maintained in its natural state and should not be cleared. Cleared and distributed lands should only be accepted where the proposed park land is to be used for recreational uses which require cleared land The development of a protected area Develop a protected area strategy strategy for the Plan Area is supported Top Priorities for Parkland Secure trail system from Morden Mine to Hemer Provincial Park (bridge over Nanaimo River). Development Permit Area #1 Two qualifying categories for developing permit consideration: • Protection of the natural environment, its ecosystems and biological diversity. • Form and character of commercial and industrial development Development Permit Area #1 Guidelines 1. The discharge of any treated effluent and storm water shall not negatively impact the water quality of the Cassidy aquifer or Alfred, West Patterson, East Patterson, and Thomas Creeks. Treated effluent and diverted storm water collection and discharge systems will require provision for grease, oil, and sedimentation removal facilities and the on-going maintenance of these facilities. To ensure all proposed systems adequately protect the Cassidy aquifer, such systems shall be engineered to the satisfaction of the Regional District. 2. Where land use activities involve the use, handling, storage, or manufacturing of potential contaminants, provision shall be made that will prevent seepage of such contaminants into the Cassidy aquifer. All provisions shall be approved by the applicable senior government agencies prior to issuance of the development permit. (note underlined) Development Permit Area #1 Guidelines 3. Landscaping shall be provided in accordance with the current Regional District of Nanaimo Land Use and Subdivision Bylaw and to promote compatibility with surrounding land uses. 5. Signage shall generally be visually unobtrusive and grouped wherever possible. Particular emphasis shall generally be given to signage, which is aesthetically pleasing and requires a minimal amount of lighting or boldness to be effective. 6. Buildings and structures, located on parcels adjacent to the Trans Canada Highway, South Wellington Road, or Schoolhouse Road, shall generally be sited and shaped in a visually unobtrusive manner. Development Permit Area #1 Development Permit Area: A comparison with other RDN Areas. Overview: Idea of performing this exercise is that the planners overlooking, and responsible for the formation of these DPA's, come from the same planning office overlooking your area. Because OCP's are, at the end of the day, a planners tool, these recommendations come with a certain degree of leverage, in that they are powers being granted to other citizens within the RDN. It is up to you to decide if they are relevant to your DPA, and worth pursuing. Methodology: Compared DPA's from other Electoral Areas within the Regional District against South Wellington DPA. Current Area 'A' relevant Alternative Language OCP Issue Possible Action by SWACA DPA Entry Used Entry Because Shawhill demands Currently a 8.1-Bowser Village DPA- that subdivisions be subject Development Intro:…Prior to any to the same Development Permit is not Area G Shaw Exemptions: 2, and subdivision or Permit guidelines as other required for Hill missing from Guidelines. construction on projects within the DPA, it the subdivision of lands…owner shall obtain allows for added layers of land within the a DP community control (see next DPA. row) Decide what information you It is not made 8.1-Bowser Village DPA- want developers to provide clear what a Guidelines 1.. A (their list is a good start). developer is Comprehensive Also consider demanding a required to submit Not Present. Development public presentation (by for development Proposal…which shall developer) for developments approval in the provide the following info. before the DP is approved in DPA. See Area H DPA plan. this set of guidelines. Development Permit Area #1 Current Alternative Area 'A' relevant OCP Issue Language Possible Action by SWACA DPA Entry Entry Used The Nanoose DPA It is not clear Requires Land alterations, building what scale of all major renovations Ask for the DPA to more Area E additions/alterations are renovations/ To submit a DPA. clearly list what (Nanoose) not required to submit a land alteration/ (DPA exemptions: developments are subject to DP. Construction Pg.4-defines what a DP. require a DP. a major renovation is (>10m2) DPA No.1: Guidelines- 1. Like most Currently systems to Discharge of any developments, Neither a QEP nor a protect the Cassidy aquifer treated effluent shall RAR are met to the Geotechnical engineer may Are subject only to "the not Negatively accordance of a QEP, be the best fit, but OCP has satisfaction of the Area C- East impact water But rather uniquely, legal authority to identify an Regional District." A third Wellington quality….To a geotechnical organization or profession party approval for ensure systems are engineer is which must approve a drainage, waste water, adequate…engi- required for developments impacts in a Environmental sensitivity, neered to Hazardous specified area. etc. may be desired. satisfaction of developments. Regional District. Development Permit Area #1 Current Area 'A' relevant Alternative Language OCP Issue Possible Action by SWACA DPA Entry Used Entry Guidelines:4.6: Prior to This point is only relevant if the granting of building pursuing third party permits require a final standards is a strategy for The ambiguity approval by QEP (third the DPA. If developers not over what level of party) confirming that living up to requirements in Area F Conformity they have met the past has been a problem, Very Unclear Errington developers must requirements. 4.9: this is where the order of meet different ensures that events required for a DP can standards measures outlined by QEP be clarified (ie: meet (or other third party) are standards, then DP, made part of the DP Occupancy, Business conditions. License, etc.). If multi-family or Consider broadening the DPA is not commercial units are argument, and demand a considered to play Section 1: Containing desired in the area, this is complete set of objectives a role in helping Urban Sprawl & existing documentation Other and policies regarding how to create a Creating Complete That could encourage the SW DPA can serve to "complete Communities: Policy #11 such uses. Other two help Create a Complete community." DPA's in Area are only Community. other area's recognized.