Submitted by the Regional District of East Kootenay

Draft Toby Benches OCP Unveiled

Almost exactly one year ago, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) started working on an Official Community Plan (OCP) planning process for the Toby Benches area. The draft OCP is now available for review and comment.

We have been working with residents and other stakeholders every step of the way and are excited to be at this point in the process, says RDEK Planner Kris Belanger.

The draft OCP and map schedules are posted on the RDEKs website and Mr. Belanger says they have an Open House planned for mid-January to provide more information to the community.

At the Open House, we will review the draft OCP and will be encouraging comments and questions.

The Open House will be held Wednesday, January 13th at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce from 7 to 9 p.m. and RDEK staff will do a brief presentation at 7:30 p.m.

If people are not able to attend the Open House, or if they would like additional time to review the draft before making comment, we have a public comment period running until February 1st, adds Mr. Belanger. Comments will be reviewed by the RDEK and will help inform revisions to the draft OCP.

An Official Community Plan (OCP) is a long-term strategic planning document that reflects the communitys vision for the future while providing a policy framework to promote greater certainty in land use decision-making by the Regional District Board.

More information about the Toby Benches Official Community Plan process can be found on the RDEKs website at

RDEK on the Hunt for Outstanding Volunteers

If you know an outstanding volunteer in one of the rural areas in the region, the RDEK wants to hear from you!

Nomination forms are now available for the 2016 Electoral Area Volunteer of the Year and, as it has in past years, the Regional District will once again be honouring one outstanding volunteer from each of its six Electoral Areas.

Our Volunteer of the Year program recognizes an individual or couple from each of our Electoral Areas and gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to them and to all the volunteers who give selflessly to contribute to the spirit, culture and people of their communities, says RDEK board chair, Rob Gay.

Nominees must be a resident of an Electoral Area and make voluntary contributions to their community.

Nomination forms can be filled out or downloaded from the RDEK website ( and can also be picked up at the Cranbrook and Columbia Valley RDEK office (Box 2319, 4956 Athalmer Road or phone 250-342-0063), and from the Electoral Area Advisory Commissions.

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, January 26th.

Visit or email for more information.