“Watershed-Based Development Permit Area” Proposed for Bowker Creek in BC’s Capital Region



Bowker Creek Watershed Blueprint: 100-Yr Action Plan for Watershed Restoration

“The Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative (BCI) has become a remarkable success story in Saanich and our region,” wrote Councillors Vic Derman and Paul Gerrard in a report to District of Saanich Council in May 2011. “First endorsed by Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria and the CRD in 2003, the initiative serves as a forward looking example of watershed based planning and a signature example of inter- municipal and regional cooperation.”

Consistent Application of Policies Over Time

Paul Gerrard

Paul Gerrard

“The Bowker Creek Watershed Blueprint correctly identifies the fact that change in an established urban landscape tends to happen relatively slowly and is often accomplished over decades rather than years. It also recognizes that larger, long term goals will only be accomplished through consistent application of policies aimed at the realization of these goals.”

“Over time, however, politicians and staff will come and go. With the natural and inevitable replacement of those responsible for establishing the Blueprint, the possibility that ‘corporate memory will fade’ increases and, unfortunately, the likelihood of inconsistent application of key policies increases as well.”

Call for Common Development Permit Guidelines

Accordingly, they proposed making the entire Bowker Creek watershed within Saanich a special development permit area with guidelines based on the vision and practices described in the Bowker Creek Blueprint.

Vic Derman

Vic Derman

“Creation of such a development permit area would insure that all development applications and other proposed changes for the watershed would be required to ‘pass through the lens’ of the blueprint. In addition, Saanich could make its intent known to Oak Bay and Victoria and encourage those jurisdictions to establish similar special development permit areas covering their portions of the Bowker Creek Watershed. “

“Ideally, staff from the three municipalities and other stakeholders might work together to establish common development permit guidelines.  Accomplishing all of this would be a huge step towards sustainable watershed based planning and a sustainable future region,” concluded Councillors Derman and Gerrard.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the 2011 Report to Council by Vic Derman and Paul Gerrard, click on Watershed-Based Development Permits for Bowker Creek.

To read a related story posted on the Vancouver Island community-of-interest, click on “Walk the talk and designate the entire Bowker Creek Watershed as a development area,” urges Saanich Councillor Vic Derman

For the complete story of how the Bowker Creek Watershed was developed, visit the homepage for the 2010 Bowker Creek Forum