Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy

“The Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy (CVSS) is a regional plan that creates new knowledge and leading approaches to sustainability for communities in the Comox Valley. The strategy will guide the policies and plans of regional and local governments. It will also recommend specific actions to be undertaken by a variety of partners, including community organizations. The CVSS is the result of collaboration between four local governments, input by dedicated community members, and review by the public and various government agencies.” www.rdcs.bc.ca/section_rgs
Difference between RGS and Sustainability Strategy - Both strategies look to the future and both strategies are about improving the quality of life and the environment in Comox Valley. As a result, the two study teams will work in close tandem to make sure information flows back and forth and that the two sets of strategies are complementary.

  • The sustainability strategy will focus on establishing specific environmental principles and related regional and municipal actions (e.g. policies related to local food production, sustainability checklist for developers, policies regarding pesticide use, incentives for using alternative transportation).
  • The RGS will focus on the overall pattern of land use in the Valley and the creation of a sustainable human settlement pattern. As such, it’s focus will be on defining where future growth will occur and the appropriate type, intensity and form of that growth.
  • Specifically, the RGS may create clear boundaries for non-developable areas, will generally guide standards and expectations for growth within existing built-up areas and will identify specific areas where future growth is appropriate over the next 30 years.
  • In defining the above, the RGS will also identify specific regional services and priorities to support the envisioned growth strategy (e.g. required infrastructure, transportation system, open space and natural system, parks and recreation needs, appropriate housing types and forms, requirements for agricultural lands and natural resources).
  • The RGS is a mandated regulatory document whereas the sustainabilty strategys is something that CVRD elected officials felt would be useful - the RGS will be a framework for informing and influencing decision making on land use and related uses - it will guide and in some cases may regulate future actions by the CVRD board and the muncipalities of Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland.
  • OCPs will be updated within two years of the adoption of the RGSto bring them into compliance
  • Among other things, the final RGS will contain the following elements:
    • a vision statement for the future of Comox Valley
    • population and employment projections
    • policy statements adressing specific land-use planning issues
    • strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions”