Victoria, BC – Following the decision by the Honourable Justice Metzger today Capital Regional District Board Chair Geoff Young said, “The CRD Board will return to the previous voting arrangements for land use decisions involving the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. Bylaw 189 will continue to act as the subdivision bylaw for forest lands in the area and the provision of land use Bylaw 2040, prior to this decision, remains in effect.”
The Justice ruled the present voting arrangement with regard to local area planning in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area as invalid; decisions made under this arrangement include CRD Bylaws 3474, 3495, 3497, 3498, 3499 and 3500.
The CRD passed the bylaws in response to the release of 28,000 hectares of land from the Tree Farm License by the Minister of Forests. The land, owned by Western Forest Products, included a significant portion in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (JDFEA). The bylaws were passed in order to give more time for planning and development decisions by the Juan de Fuca Planning Department and concerns about rural subdivisions.
“Significant planning challenges exist for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area,” said Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks. “More resources on future land use decisions need to be brought to the table. In many ways, the planning process is just beginning for Juan de Fuca; I am committed to working with landowners, developers and residents of the region on this issue.”
Young has committed the Board to achieving a regional plan which acts as a vision for the region as a whole and that respects the concerns of local residents. The Chair has directed staff to consider all the legal issues arising from the court decision and to provide a report to the Board as quickly as possible.
While the CRD is reviewing the judgement, it has not yet been determined if there are potential grounds to appeal the Supreme Court decision. Land use and planning decisions will continue to be guided by the pre-existing bylaw in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.
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For further information please contact:
Sheila Taylor, Manager, Community Relations
Corporate Communications, CRD