Excerpted from Penticton Herald, July 16, 2010

“Eager to protect the town’s remaining sensitive ecosystems from potentially damaging development, Oliver council adopted a new set of environmental and riparian development regulations on Monday. Council’s decision followed a 90 minute public hearing during which several speakers expressed concerns that the new regulations would do little more than cost developers time and money.”

“In fact, the bylaw passed by council on Monday contained several amendments introduced to address those concerns. For example, at council’s request, the irrigation channel was removed from the environmental development permit area – although connected to the Okanagan River, the channel is not a fish habitat.”

“Before Monday’s vote, the town’s environmental development area included only the wetland oxbows along the Okanagan River Channel. By changing the Official Community Plan, it has added sensitive ecosystems such as grasslands, wetlands and mature forest. Oliver’s riparian areas include Tuc-el-Nuit Lake, the Okanagan River, wetlands and other watercourses throughout the town. Proposed amendments to these areas include establishing setbacks on watercourses that support fish and fish habitat. Environmental and riparian development areas are seen as an effective tool for protecting environmentally sensitive areas on private lands within communities.”

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