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HISTORY

of Westside Road, BC

LAST UPDATE January 25, 2015

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History lesson from RDCO Chair Robert Hobson and West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater

Audio of Regional District of Central Okanagan Chair Robert Hobson and West Kelowna (alias Westbank) Mayor Doug Findlater giving an oral history lesson at the Regional Board meeting, in regards to the local government in the old days (not RDCO but Lakeview 1953 and Westbank Irrigation Districts 1922).  It wasn't until 1967 that the Regional District of Central Okangan was created.

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio December 13, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (138 MB)

Windows Media File Icon December 13, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Westbank Irrigation District 1922 and Lakeview Irrigation District back in 1953 and RDCO in 1967 - .wma (384 KB)

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Westside Electoral Area Demographic Profile 2005 (no longer on investkelowna.com's website)

Section 1. Introduction

The Westside Electoral Area, with a population of approximately 26,000, includes 1,298.15 square kilometres of combined industrial and commercial land to the north and south of Highway 97 on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

Westside Electoral Area comprises Lakeview Heights, Casa Loma, West Kelowna Estates, Traders Cove, Fintry, Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Westside Road including IR 10, Westbank, Glenrosa, Shannon Lake, IR 9, and rural Peachland.

Prior to 2002, the Westside Electoral Area consisted of two separate electoral areas: Electoral Area G and Electoral Area H. An electoral area is a relatively small geographic region used for electing representatives of unorganized areas to Regional District Boards. On May 28, 2002, Electoral Areas G and H were amalgamated to create the Westside Electoral area (also referred to as “J”). With the 2001 census, electoral areas were profiled as census subdivisions in the unorganized areas of BC for the first time. Throughout this document, for data prior to 2002, and for comparative purposes, Electoral Areas G and H are still used.

Westbank accounted for over 98.5% of the population of Central Okanagan H, and Lakeview accounted for 86.7% of the population of Central Okanagan G. As such, this profile does not always split out data for Westbank and Lakeview specifically, but the information provided is largely representative of those population centres.

Lakeview and Westbank are designated places. Designated places are normally small settlements that do not meet the criteria used to define municipalities or census subdivisions. They are created in consultation with local authorities, the provincial government and Statistics Canada. In 1996, Statistics Canada began compiling census data for electoral areas.
A separate profile has been completed for Westbank. Westbank is the largest community on the west side of Okanagan Lake and is one of BC’s largest unincorporated communities. Westbank is growing rapidly as a residential community and is also evolving into a prosperous business centre, with significant opportunities for commercial and industrial development. Due to the economic importance of Westbank in the Regional District’s economy, it was deemed appropriate to complete a separate profile for Westbank.

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From Wikipedia Regional District of Central Okanagan - Central Okanagan West

Central Okanagan West - Electoral Area "J"
Central Okanagan J currently referred to as the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area and formerly known as the Westside Electoral Area, was created from the merger of Electoral Area G and Electoral Area H. The 2005 population. exclusive of anyone living on an Indian Reserve, was 37,638 people. In 2007 most of the electoral area's population transferred to the jurisdiction of the newly-incorporated District Municipality of West Kelowna.

Regional District of Central Okanagan - Electoral Area "G"
Central Okanagan G is a former regional district electoral area of the Regional District of Central Okanagan in south central British Columbia, Canada It is located in the northwest part of the district, and is on Okanagan Lake. Central Okanagan G was merged with Central Okanagan H to become Westside Electoral Area. The large populations residing on the Westbank Indian Reserve and other Indian Reserves within its boundaries are not represented by the regional district and are not within its jurisdiction.

Map and Profile of the Regional District of Central Okanagan in 2009

The map below outlines the current boundaries within the regional district, including the West Kelowna District Municipality. Central Okanagan J area includes the new district municipality but excludes Peachland and Westbank First Nation reserves.

Regional District of Central Okanagan - Map of Electoral Areas

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History page 10

The Directors of the Regional Board were to be elected by each community “Electoral Area” together with appointed representatives from councils of municipalities. Only the directors of communities contributing toward the cost of particular services would vote on matters affecting that service.

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ORDER IN COUNCIL 653

Ministry Responsible: COMMUNITY SERVICES
Statutory Authority: Local Government, ss. 7, 13, 30, 777, 782; Community Charter, s. 6

• Letters Patent are issued incorporating the Westside District Municipality. Those Letters Patent come into force on December 6, 2007, except sections 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 which come into force on the date the Letters Patent are issued.

• Letters Patent are issued for the Regional District of Central Okanagan. Those Letters Patent come into force on December 6, 2007, except section 6.2 comes into force on the date the Letters Patent are issued.

• The Lakeview Irrigation District, incorporated by Letters Patent dated May 22, 1951 is dissolved, effective December 31, 2010. The Westbank Irrigation District, incorporated by Letters Patent dated June 14, 1922 is dissolved, effective December 31, 2010. All assets, rights, claims and obligations of the Lakeview Irrigation District and the Westbank Irrigation District are transferred to the Westside District Municipality.

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History page 6

INTRODUCTION
The provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs, in 1964, in co-operation with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, introduced legislation to establish regional districts as an alternative to metro forms of government. One might generally state that a regional district is an elected agency with the prime purpose of taking joint action in providing services that are of mutual benefit to the areas which it serves, services which can best be handled on a co-operative basis and also to provide services to the unincorporated areas.

Regional district boards are made up of elected representatives appointed by the member municipalities, people who are already involved in the municipal picture whereas in the unincorporated or unorganized territories, where there is no local council, regional district representatives are elected by the people of the area. Regional districts do not have the power to impose general property taxes on their own to secure revenues but requisition upon the municipalities and for electoral areas, through the Provincial Government, for the provision of services. They were not conceived as a fourth level of government but a functional rather than political amalgamation.

The powers of regional districts were limited strictly to those granted by Letters Patent issued by the province in each particular case and it was up to the people in that region, with the consent of the municipalities and electoral areas, to decide what functions the regional district would perform. As time went on, a number of statutory functions were granted; these were generally matters of overall provincial concern. The representational scheme that was established by legislation provided necessary cross communication between, and secured coordination of the activities of, individual municipalities and electoral areas of the region. The assumption of powers by the Regional District evolved over a period of time based upon consultation and dialogue between the regional board, participating municipalities and electoral areas.

At the outset of establishing regional districts the board also served, pursuant to Letters Patent that were issued by the Provincial Government, as a regional hospital district with the boundaries coterminous with the regional district. The purpose of the regional hospital district was to provide funding for the construction of hospital facilities.

At that time, construction costs of hospitals were shared 60% provincial and 40% regional hospital district. Prior to the establishment of regional hospital districts, and in the case of the Central Okanagan, the Hospital Improvement District No. 36 was in place to provide some local representation to hospital improvements within the area.

Prior to the adoption of legislation establishing a basis for regional districts to be incorporated, virtually all decisions with respect to local issues in the unincorporated areas had to be referred to and dealt with by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in Victoria.

This was a very time-consuming and cumbersome process for all concerned and by the mid-sixties it had become increasingly clear that the existing municipalities in the province and the provincial government were no longer adequate vehicles for providing certain services to the citizens. The fractionalization of communities by restricted municipal boundaries made it difficult and often inefficient to provide many services on the scale required by the community as a whole. It was also clear that the community interest in certain matters extended far beyond the organized municipal territory.

Community interest in such things as hospitals, regional parks and environmental management was clearly much broader. In British Columbia, at the time, there was no general agency to reflect what might be termed the regional community of interest, hence the establishment of regional districts.

In 1989 the Provincial Government brought in legislation which established a new foundation for regional government. This legislation amended Part 24 of the Municipal Act which was virtually a re-write of the powers, authority and operation of Regional Districts in British Columbia.

The legislation made it easier for Regional Districts to provide services to its constituents and more clearly outlined the procedural requirements of bylaw adoption and enforcement. This amendment to the Act provided Regional Boards with far more statutory authority to establish and operate local services including among others, sewer systems, water systems, refuse disposal systems, community parks, libraries, recreation facilities, fire protection services, street lighting systems as well as extended services including animal control, nuisance regulation, building regulations, house numbering, emergency programs and regional parks. This new legislation was welcomed by the Regional District of Central Okanagan and other regional districts in the province as it made it more efficient to meet the needs of local communities.

 

Local Government Act

Local Government Act - Part 24

Community Charter

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History page 12

DEFINITION OF LETTERS PATENT
With respect to local government, Letters Patent is a legal instrument which is issued by way of an Order-in-Council of the Province of British Columbia and signed by the Lieutenant-Governor-In-Council, which may establish local government and improvement districts and set boundaries, establish services and may confer upon local governments certain and specific legislative powers.

SUPPLEMENTARY LETTERS PATENT
Supplementary Letters Patent may broaden the powers of local government by amendment to Letters Patent. The legislation adopted by the Provincial Government in 1964 with the recommendation of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor-In-Council, could, by the issuance of Letters Patent, incorporate any area of land and the residents within that area in to a regional district for the purpose of carrying out functions and services as may be granted from time to time or conferred upon it by the Municipal Act. In addition to the functions and services conferred upon the regional district by the Municipal Act, the regional district had such functions as were provided by Letters Patent or Supplementary Letters Patents and for this purpose the Lieutenant-Governor-In-Council, upon the recommendation of the
Minister, could provide in the Letters Patent or Supplementary Letters Patent, such further objects, powers, obligations, duties, limitations, and conditions in respect to any or all functions requested. Before the Lieutenant-Governor-In-Council issued the Letters Patent or Supplementary Letters Patent, a request to be granted the powers to undertake the function(s) must have been received from the regional board, and such a request had to specify the member municipalities or electoral areas which were to participate and the basis for sharing the costs of each of those functions. Before advancing such a request, the regional board must have received the consent of the council of each municipality which was to participate in the function, and would have submitted for and received the assent of the owners of land in each electoral area, which was also to participate, except where the function was of a regulatory nature.

 

History page 13

INCORPORATION

With Premier W.A.C. Bennett as the presiding member of the Executive Council, Letters Patent to incorporate the Regional District of Central Okanagan were issued by the Lieutenant-Governor-In-Council on the 24th day of August, 1967. The Letters Patent set out that the member municipalities of the Regional District included the City of Kelowna and the Corp. of the District of Peachland with the Electoral Areas as follows:

Electoral Area A (Winfield, Oyama and Okanagan Centre)
Electoral Area B (Glenmore, Poplar Point)
Electoral Area C (Rutland, Belgo, Ellison, Joe Rich)
Electoral Area D (South and East Kelowna)
Electoral Area E (South Pandosy)
Electoral Area F (Okanagan Mission)
Electoral Area G (Lakeview Heights, north to the north of West Shore Estates)
Electoral Area H (Westbank)

 

History page 25

Initial regulations pertaining to the management of land use and subdivision established for Community Planning Area No. 1 under Supplementary Letters Patent, approved by the Provincial Government on October 27, 1969.

• Division (3) of Community Planning Area No.1 Regulations pertaining to subdivision repealed March 17, 1971 and replaced by Subdivision Regulations 262/70 of the Local Services Act.

Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 66 adopted on September 6, 1972 in order to apply zoning regulations to the Electoral Areas of the Regional District.

• City of Kelowna boundaries expanded to include all or part of Electoral Areas B, C, D, E, F, and I on March 3, 1973, thereby reducing the area of land use jurisdiction under the authority of the Regional District.

Land Commission Act enacted late in 1973 by the Provincial Government to protect the agricultural land base for future generations of farmers. This Act had the effect of zoning the land base across the entire province for agricultural activities only based upon the agricultural capability of land.

Subdivision Bylaw No. 82 (initial subdivision bylaw for the RDCO) adopted on November 20, 1974.

Official Regional Plan Bylaw No. 124 adopted on December 20, 1976, providing a framework of planning principles, land use categories, policies and regulations to guide the orderly growth and development of the Region.

Zoning Bylaw No.176 adopted on March 9, 1981, replacing Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 66 and providing an enhanced zoning bylaw for the Electoral Areas.

Official Settlement Plans for the Westbank and Lakeview Areas, adopted on May 11, 1981, providing for the first comprehensive land use policies to guide the growth and development of the Westside at a community scale.

• Legislation pertaining to Regional Planning repealed by the Provincial Government in early 1980’s over concerns related to the duplication of planning authority between municipal and regional governments.

• Initial Official Community Plans (formerly Official Settlement Plans) for the remainder of the Westside and Electoral Area “A” (presently the District of Lake Country) adopted in the 1980’s to provide land use policy direction similar to the Westbank and Lakeview Plans.

• The Okanagan Lake Foreshore Plan was adopted in the early 1990’s, providing some initial policy direction to the Regional Board and the Crown with respect to foreshore use and permitting of wharf and dock structures. This policy direction is integrated into the Official Community Plans.

Subdivision Servicing Bylaw No.464 adopted on September 13, 1993, replacing Subdivision Bylaw No.82 with enhanced subdivision regulations to better address the urban form of development rapidly emerging within the Electoral Areas of the Region.

• The Planning and Parks Departments collaborate in the summer of 1995 to develop an inventory of sensitive environmental and cultural features within the

Page 58

Continued growth has required the Engineering Services Department to establish one of its first significant bylaws, the Subdivision Servicing & Development Bylaw. Bylaw No. 704 (1996) amended the original bylaw to identify works and services required from new development. This bylaw was enhanced to include development properties, and is continually undergoing changes to ensure that the levels of service to accommodate growth are dealt with in an effective and efficient manner.

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Historical Review of the Regional District of Central Okanagan

Regional and Community Planning Letters Patent issued in 1969
Under the authority of Supplementary Letters Patent dated March 19, 1969 the Regional District was granted the function of regional and community planning. It is noted that Community Planning Area #1 and part of Community Planning Area #2 established under the Local Services Act were within the boundaries of the Regional District and that certain regulations applied to those areas. These areas encompassed the Lakeview Heights area, South Pandosy and Rutland community north to Pino Road, all of which were outside the boundary of the City of Kelowna. In October of 1969, the provincial government passed an order in council (could be OIC 3409?) to apply the regulations which were in force and effect in those areas as if they were bylaws adopted by the Regional Board. These regulations related to land use within those areas. (page 20 or 23)

  • Initial regulations pertaining to the management of land use and subdivision established for Community Planning Area No. 1 under Supplementary Letters Patent, approved by the Provincial Government on October 27, 1969. (page 25)

  • Division (3) of Community Planning Area No.1 Regulations pertaining to subdivision repealed March 17, 1971 and replaced by Subdivision Regulations 262/70 of the Local Services Act. (page 25)

Local Services Act 183/59
Local Services Act 495/59
Local Services Act 262/70

Building Inspection
With the issuance of letters patent by the provincial government to enact and establish building regulations throughout the electoral areas, which were previously carried out under provincial jurisdiction, provincial building inspectors, Edward Ashton and Allan Cushing, transferred and became Regional District employees. In April 1971, the Regional Board enacted and established building regulations pursuant to its authority granted by the Province. Subject to several amendments so as to make it more applicable to the Central Okanagan and to improve standards, the regulation adopted by the Regional District encompassed most of the National Building Code of Canada and supplements thereto and set building permit fees. (page 30 .pdf)

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