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Regional Growth Strategy expected in spring

Area C, VOP sub-regional plan contract ready to be awarded



By Cindy Filipenko

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District expects to complete its Regional Growth Strategy this spring, pending the completion of a Pemberton-Area C specific land use study.

The RGS, which has proven to be contentious with various local governments since its inception, is close to coming to fruition according to Steve Olmstead, planner for the SLRD.

Tabling a report last week prepared by SLRD Community Planner Lisa Griffith, Olmstead emphasized that the last piece of the puzzle, the proposed Electoral Area C-Village of Pemberton sub-regional plan, was ready to be undertaken.

“We’re in the process of awarding the contract for the Area C-VOP sub-regional Plan,” Olmstead confirmed at the SLRD’s Jan. 29 board meeting.

On Jan. 25, the SLRD receive confirmation form the province that $55,000 would be available to execute the plan. The Restructure Planning Grant from the Ministry of Community Services allows for $30,000 in consultant fees and $25,000 in mapping costs to be covered.

In a letter announcing the award, Minister Ida Chong recognized the joint nature of the study.

“While this grant is being approved for the Regional District, I recognize that this project is viewed as a joint project of the Regional District, the Village of Pemberton, and the Lil’wat Nation–Mount Currie Band. I fully support this co-operative and interest-based approach to the project, and I congratulate all parties in reaching agreement on the terms of reference for this important work.”

The RGS Intergovernmental Advisory Committee last met in Squamish at the end of November. A follow-up, side table meeting reaffirmed the need to harmonize the RGS with existing land use plans.