North Cowichan Looking to Enhance Environmental Protection
North Cowichan council held a special meeting Monday night to examine a report on enhancing environmental protection.
The consultant’s report was commissioned by the municipality to seek ways to improve, clarify and enhance environmental policy and regulation, and to strengthen North Cowichan’s environmental leadership.
It has 11 recommendations for members of the council to consider.
Mayor Al Siebring says North Cowichan has “pretty good environmental protection already,” and he notes that in the report, “six or seven of the eleven recommendations are just about definition or enhancing the language and clarity.”
The report discusses things such as increasing the setback distance between new construction and watercourses.
According to Siebring, “a lot of municipalities have additional watercourse setbacks above and beyond what the province mandates” and says he’s sure the council will be taking a look at that.
Other topics include developing policies that will be a framework for guiding bylaw and updates, such as a Biodiversity Strategy and Community Forest Strategy.
The report also suggests looking at what staffing and resources may be needed to improve North Cowichan’s capacity to implement, communicate and enforce current bylaws and regulations.
The report is designed to help guide future discussion and implementation of environmental protection in North Cowichan.