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  • Writer's pictureRiley Gettens

PUBLIC HEARING tomorrow (Thursday) at 9:00 am re: Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit (ESDP) Bylaw Amendments.

Updated: Dec 20, 2023


The amendments are being sought in order to update policies and guidelines related to the Environmentally Sensitive Development Permits (ESDP) in order to remove land alteration and construction as development requiring an ESDP.

This public hearing will be conducted in a hybrid fashion by video conference using Webex and in-person. If you would like to attend, please refer to the following meeting information:

Date: Thursday, December 21, 2023

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Location: 101 Martin St, Penticton, BC

1-833-311-4101 (by phone)

Webex Meeting #: 2772 885 0354

Webex Password: RD@S (7317 by phone)

Copies of the bylaw(s), along with other basic information, may be inspected at: (Property & Development → Planning, Zoning & Subdivision → Strategic Projects → Review of Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit (ESDP) Areas).

This bylaw may also be inspected at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen office at 101 Martin Street, Penticton, BC, on weekdays (excluding statutory holidays) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. up until the close of the public hearing on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

Anyone who considers themselves affected by Amendment Bylaw No. 2912, 2023, can present written information to the Regional District prior to or at the public hearing and may also speak at the public hearing. No letter, report or representation from the public will be received after the conclusion of the public hearing.


Dec. 12, 2023 Original Blog Post

Last Thursday, the board voted to approve the first and second readings to amend the Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit (ESDP) bylaw to only apply to subdivision and rezoning (there is still a third reading and adoption).  There will be a public hearing on Dec. 21, 2023, at the RDOS at 9:00 am. I voted against passing the second and third readings, as did Area I Director Subrina Monteith. I understand a citizen meeting will be held in Kaleden this Friday, Dec. 15, at 11:00 AM at the Kaleden Fire Hall. I spoke with the organizer, Doreen from Kaleden, and Area F citizens are welcome to join.

Here is more information. The pink zones are ESDP areas.


On Aug. 6, 2020, a motion was brought forward to apply ESDPs only at subdivision and rezoning.  The pink on the map above shows where ESDPs are used. Most citizen support for ESDPs to apply only at rezoning and subdivisions has come from Anarchist Mt and Regal Ridge citizens (bottom right corner of the map, in pink). I can understand those concerns. The mapping is haphazard and, in many cases, doesn't make sense.

Conversely, much of the mapping in Area F makes sense. A public version of the ESDP mapping layer is available via the RDO's public parcel viewer:  You will need to toggle on the ESDP layer under the ‘Layer List’ icon at the top right of your screen (see screenshot below).

You can read the ESDP review history in the linked board reports below.  Stantec’s review was presented at Thursday's board meeting. 


The issue, in brief:

There is concern that the ESDPs are ineffective and costly to property owners and that applying the ESDP at subdivision and rezoning is where the most value is. Property owners who own land with an ESDP designation would not have to apply for an ESDP permit to build or renovate (unless they rezone or subdivide). So, if you knock down your existing house and want to rebuild on the same property in an area that is designated environmentally sensitive, you would no longer be required to engage with a biologist and apply for an Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit.


Next steps:

You can send feedback to the RDOS at by 9 am on December 21. You attend the public hearing at 9:00 AM on Thursday, December 21 (there will be a WebEx/virtual option).

Thank you.




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