Victoria, BC – The BC Supreme Court has granted a stay of proceedings to the Capital Regional District regarding the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (JDFEA) local area planning bylaws, which will allow recently passed bylaws concerning rural resource lands to remain in place while the case is heard. The Capital Regional District also launched an appeal of the Court’s December 2008 decision. The stay of proceedings pertains to the bylaws, not the current voting arrangement, and is effective immediately.
The bylaws were passed in response to the unexpected release of 28,000 hectares of land from Tree Farm Licenses 6, 19 and 25 on Vancouver Island by the Minister of Forests. The land, owned by Western Forest Products, included approximately 9,000 hectares in the JDFEA. The bylaw was passed in order to give more time for planning and development decisions by the Juan de Fuca Planning Department.
“Responsible, sustainable decisions for the Juan de Fuca Forest Lands are imperative for the protection of our region’s rural resource lands,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. “My expectation is that this appeal will uphold the CRD’s interpretation of the Local Government Act, revalidating bylaws which were created to prevent unregulated growth in Juan de Fuca.”
The CRD Board has amended the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee, which will now be comprised of the Electoral Area Director and six locally nominated residents, appointed to the committee by the Board. The CRD has also reverted to its previous voting arrangement in dealing with any incoming development approvals. This will see a return of Land Use Committees A and B, with Directors from relevant municipalities and the JDFEA Director voting. Land Use Committee A consists of the JDFEA Director and Directors from the City of Colwood, the City of Langford, the District of Metchosin and the District of Sooke. Land Use Committee B consists of the JDFEA Director and Directors from the District of Central Saanich, The District of Highlands, the City of Langford and one Director from the District of Saanich.
The CRD is committed to working with landowners in the Juan de Fuca EA to resolve outstanding land use issues. Meetings with residents are being planned, and the CRD is also looking at ways to accommodate landowners in the JDFEA whose properties have been affected by the bylaws.
Juan de Fuca Appeal Granted:
Court of Appeal's Decision
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For further information please contact:
Sheila Taylor, Manager, Community Relations
Corporate Communications, CRD