Years ago, a friend introduced me to a developer saying how influential and successful this man was. After we chatted a bit, I asked him how some newly established regulations affected his business. He looked around, smiled, lowered his voice and said “sweetheart, there isn’t a regulation I’ve seen yet that I can’t get around”.
This is a good time to remind everyone that the OCP for areas D and E does specify that any change in zoning must first be approved by the community via a public community meeting before being brought to RDNO for any approval. This is a tool that might help insure that no development occurs without the community’s full knowledge, but not a reason to not remain vigilant.
I am not sure how this works in Lumby but encourage everyone who has moved to these beautiful areas for their peace and beauty, to make their voice heard. I get about a dozen letters a month from Vernonites upset about proposed development on lands deemed “underdeveloped” but that are the last refuge for the birds and the bees. As well, too often people see developments occur next to them that they thought were not allowed based on published regulations, but that has now been permitted via a variance due to pressure from developers. Thanks to overdevelopment of our area, recently the World Wildlife Fund called the Okanagan one of Canada’s 5 most at risk areas.
Look around. Very little of what we see on mountains can be called “forest” for it is either completely deforested or has been turned into a plantation where very few animals can live. Very little area is still suitable for wild animals so they end up on people properties where there is still some “underdeveloped land” but most often, dogs and guns chase them away. Where can they go?
The Covid 19 Pandemic has shown us that there is more to life than money. Being able to live where we can still hear the birds and the bees, see deer, fox, bear, and maybe even hear the odd coyote, is something most of us would like to pass on to our grandchildren. This won’t happen if we pave paradise.
Huguette Allen, Lumby, BC