Letters to the Editor. (Black Press file photo)

Letters to the Editor. (Black Press file photo)

Letter to the Editor: Petition on Proposed RDCK Bylaw Amendments

“If these proposed bylaw amendments are implemented, the Trails Society may be forced to close Riverside Wilderness Park to public access.”

As Secretary of Trails for Creston Valley Society, I would like to make your readership aware of the following urgent and important information. The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) Planning Department is proposing amendments to the Zoning Bylaw and Land Use Bylaws in our Electoral Areas B and C (and others). There is a public announcement in the May 6th issue of the Creston Valley Advance on Page A5, for Waiving of Public Hearing. Only written submissions for or against the proposed amendments will be accepted by the RDCK.

This issue is important because the RDCK Planning Department in Nelson does not approve of Riverside Wilderness Park, which is located along Goat River near Highway 21 and is privately owned by the Trails Society. If these proposed bylaw amendments are implemented, the Trails Society may be forced to close Riverside Wilderness Park to public access. This would be yet another example of our community losing legal access to our valley’s waterways. Currently, there are zero regional parks in the Creston Valley.

There has been no legal access to Goat River in our valley for many years, other than for those who are willing to scramble down to the water’s edge near highway bridges. Over 10 years ago, changes were made to the RDCK bylaw structure in our area which eliminated the budget for regional parks (to save taxpayers money, presumably). But now that it’s 2021, things have changed, and the Creston Valley now has a budget for regional parks. The recent Parks and Recreation Master Plan from the RDCK describes the very high value that our valley’s residents place on parks, trails, and water access.

The Trails Society decided in 2018 to take long-overdue action to provide our community with legal access to Goat River. The riverside property which was purchased now includes a portable toilet, garbage can, picnic tables and lawn maintenance. This was all made possible due to the overwhelming financial support of local families, businesses, and individuals who donated $237,000 to purchase the land parcel located at 1031 Highway 21.

It was the Trails Society’s intention to gift the land to the RDCK to be turned into a regional park. When the RDCK recently decided against accepting the property for this purpose, we were able to continue to allow the public to access our land through a provincial designation as a Wilderness Park. The Town of Creston supports our park, but because it is outside of Town boundaries unfortunately they have no jurisdiction in the matter.

The Trails Society is supportive of working with RDCK to develop a regional park at an alternate location, as long as it: (1) provides easy access to Goat River for everyone (including the elderly, small children, and others with mobility challenges), and (2) reduces the unsafe parking congestion on Highway 21. We recognize that the establishment of a new regional park will likely require many years of grinding through the official development process. Until that future day, the Trails Society wants to keep our privately-owned park open to the public.

If you disapprove of these proposed bylaw amendments, please indicate by email to the RDCK Planning Department in Nelson that you do not approve of the change in wording to 15.0 “Interpretation of PARK”, which will allow RDCK to arbitrarily sanction (or not) any park that is not owned by the government. Also, that you do not approve of the change in wording to 16.53 “General Regulations: Uses Permitted in all Zones” — as playgrounds and trails should continue to be permitted uses.

For more detailed information as well as a petition template to use, please visit www.crestonvalleytrails.ca. Written submissions must be emailed to plandept@rdck.bc.ca before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19. Thank you for making your voice heard.

Sincerely,

Adam Mjolsness, Erickson

Creston ValleyLetter to the EditorLetters

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Creston’s high school

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for the former Prince Charles Secondary School

A new doctor has been recruited for the Creston Valley. (Pixabay)
New doctor recruited for the Creston Valley

Dr. Luke Turanich is expected to begin practice in late summer/early fall

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

A fawn found in Invermere. (BC Conservation Officer Service photo)
WildSafeBC advises on fawning season

Fawning season occurs from mid-May to June until the fawns become more independent of their mothers

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read