“Local governments are demonstrating what can be accomplished through partnerships and collaboration. Moving from awareness to action is ultimately keyed to a ‘regional team approach’ that is founded on shared responsibility,” stated John Finnie. “A convergence of interests has created an opportunity for all the players to set their sights on the common good, challenge the old barriers of jurisdictional interests, and make water sustainability real.”
“Our definition is that the ‘regional team’ in its fullest sense encompasses local government, the Province, the development community and the stewardship, agricultural and academic sectors. The latest initiative by the Comox Valley team was a Developers Dialogue. This has opened lines of communication to the local development community,” stated John Finnie. The Comox Valley regional team saw this as an opportunity for the local development community and local government staff to focus on how they could all work together towards low environmental impact development.
“To help the Comox Valley Regional Team tell their story about leading and managing change, we have posted a set stories on Water Bucket. This is a tangible way to record history as it is being created,” stated Mike Tanner. “The Water Bucket team has worked with the organizers and participants to capture the key messages and event highlights in these web stories. We hope the conversational approach will help inform the design of the 2011 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series.”
Developers Dialogue: A well-planned front-end process is the secret to a successful project outcome, says Courtenay’s Derek Richmond
“The end product is a successful project. But what we really want to focus on is the process – that is, the process of how we can work with the development community to expedite the process, end up with the product that we all want, and keep down the costs,” stated Derek Richmond. “We know that if we do things right at the front-end, the end result will be a lot better, and everyone will wind up saving time and money. The end product that you have will be an added-value product.”
Developers Dialogue: Understanding the drivers that are pushing local governments to refine the front-end of the development application process
“Understanding the drivers that are pushing local governments to refine the development application process, and the relationship with the development community, will help in informing the front-end process. Tthe provincial government has enacted legislation that requires all local governments to create policies and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions., and address it in their regulation of development,” stated Nancy Hofer. “Local government will always have the role of regulating land development so that it reflects the values of the community.”
Developers Dialogue: Glenn Westendorp connects the dots in defining a path forward for the Comox Valley Regional Team
“Protecting the environment will require significant effort and commitment from all parties. The transition is not going to be easy, but there is no turning back. Dialogue will help to build trust leading to a coordinated effort to achieve shared goals,” stated Glenn Westendorp. “The 2011 Series theme, A Regional Response to Climate Change, defines the desired outcome. This shows how far we have come as a regional team. We are ready to establish performance targets for integrated land and water management.”
Comox Valley Developers Dialogue: "Excellent format allowed for a variety of ideas, questions and comments to flow easily and freely", says Kip Keylock
“The format was excellent for ‘stirring the pot’ as it allowed for a variety of ideas, questions and comments to flow easily and freely. The non-formal setting made everyone comfortable in sharing comments, whether positive or negative. This is certainly appreciated among the building and development community,” stated Kip Keylock. “The fact that many of the staff and administration from the local municipalities were present, and participated, was a testament to the positive strides being made in the Comox Valley.”
“Our challenge is to allow some growth without forcing the construction of housing that won’t sell. Balancing free market ‘regional’ forces with regulation intended to protect us from ourselves……..If we really could plan, design and sell housing affordably, which was also ecologically sound and was a product people want, we'd have this nut cracked,” stated Ian Whitehead.
"You too are part of the Comox Valley Regional Team", Kim Stephens tells local development community
“One of the things that makes BC unique is the degree of autonomy that local government has compared to other provinces. The provincial philosophy is not to be prescriptive. Rather, it is an enabling philosophy. This means that legislation creates the tools that allows local governments and others to get the job done,” stated Kim Stephens. “There are two sides to the enabling coin. You can choose to be enabled, or not. Our challenge to everyone under the regional team approach is CHOOSE TO BE ENABLED.”
"Communication, collaboration, cooperation and coordination underpin a regional team approach in the Comox Valley," says Courtenay’s Derek Richmond
“To be successful, we all need to work outside our normal boundaries; and we need to proactively communicate and work with others. We in local government are now thinking of ourselves as a team, not as individuals within silos; truly getting there means we will have to continue breaking down boundaries through communication, collaboration, cooperation and coordination. Through the 4Cs, we would like to shift the paradigm from boundaries to areas of commonality,” stated Derek Richmond.