Submitted by the Regional District of East Kootenay

Following three open houses and preliminary discussions with community groups and stakeholders, the Regional District of East Kootenay is moving forward with the next steps in the implementation of the Lake Windermere Management Plan.

The board has asked staff to draft new regulations for Lake Windermere, said Area F Director Wendy Booth. As part of this process, we have also asked for additional public consultation to ensure people have the opportunity to learn about the proposed regulations and share their thoughts and opinions.

Based in part on the input already received, the new regulations will include more focused environmental protection guidelines than was recommended in the LWMP, and general regulations for the siting and size of foreshore structures.

This will include the establishment of Development Permit Areas in the sections of shoreline marked as orange or red in the Shoreline Management Guidelines, explained Director Booth.

These are areas that have been identified as being environmentally sensitive. Establishing a Development Permit Area in these zones will help ensure these environmental values are considered if development is being proposed.

A Development Permit Area is a set of development guidelines pertaining to a specific area, and development objectives which require applicants to have a development permit prior to moving forward with certain types of work. This creates an opportunity to review proposed developments to ensure they comply with the policies and objectives of the Official Community Plan or Management Plan, such as environmental guidelines.

In addition to the Development Permit Area, the board has asked staff to prepare surface water zoning regulations to create a uniform set of development standards for in-water structures.

The water zoning will focus only on managing water structures like docks, buoys, diving platforms and marinas. The RDEK is not proposing any regulations or restrictions on recreational boating, stresses Booth.

Once prepared, the draft regulations will be presented to the public, community associations, First Nations, and other stakeholders for further input and comment. The Regional District of East Kootenay will be distributing a newsletter in the coming weeks, and hopes to begin the next round of public consultation in June.

For more information, visit the Lake Windermere Management Plan implementation page on the regional districts website, www.rdek.bc.ca, email lakewindermere@rdek.bc.ca or contact Karen MacLeod at the Regional District of East Kootenay office in Cranbrook.