Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy Provides a Framework for Aligning Efforts to Tackle 'Infrastructure Liability'



Note to Reader:

At the 2011 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, the spotlight will be on the unfunded ‘infrastructure liability’ confronting all local governments. This is a driver for a change in the way local governments plan, finance, implement and over time replace infrastructure.

This article is the fifth in a weekly series that is being released throughout the March – June period. It previews the co-presentation about the Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy that will be delivered by Geoff Garbutt and Mike Zbarsky of the Comox Valley Regional District.

To download a PDF version of this preview, click on Comox Valley Local Governments Showcase A Regional Response to Infrastructure Liability: Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy Provides a Framework for Aligning Efforts to Tackle Infrastructure Liability

The target audience for the 2011 Series are land use and infrastructure professionals in the local government and development sectors. 



Infrastructure Liability: A Driver for Action in the Comox Valley

Local governments in British Columbia are faced with this challenge: the initial capital cost of infrastructure is about 20% of the life-cycle cost; the other 80% largely represents a future unfunded liability. 

The unfunded ‘infrastructure liability’ is a driver for local governments to consider longevity, focus on what happens after developers hand-off municipal infrastructure, get it right at the front-end, and prepare for the future.


A Regional Response

The CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team is setting the stage for A Regional Response to ‘Infrastructure Liability’. During April-May-June, a 3-part seminar series will provide a forum for shared learning. The target audience is land use and infrastructure professionals in the local government and development sectors.

Michael zbarsky (120p) - comox valley regional district“The Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy and Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy together provide a starting point  for making better long-term decisions. The  CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team is developing an infrastructure evaluation tool that will be introduced, refined and finalized over the course of the 3-part seminar series,” states Mike Zbarsky, Manager of Transit and Sustainability with the Comox Valley Regional District.

“At Seminar #1, Geoff Garbutt and I will have a presentation on the RGS/CVSS big picture background, with a focus on the infrastructure policies and how they will assist with the infrastructure liability and lend themselves to a ‘checklist’ as an evaluation tool. This overview will inform the town-hall session that will follow.”


Difference between RGS and Sustainability Strategy

“Both strategies look to the future and both strategies are about improving the quality of life and the environment in Comox Valley. As a result, the two study teams have worked in close tandem to make sure information flows back and forth and that the two sets of strategies are complementary,” continues Geoff Garbutt, Manager of Strategic and Long-Range Planning with the regional district.

Geoff garbutt (120p) - comox valley regional district“The focus of the sustainability strategy is on establishing specific environmental principles and related regional and municipal actions (e.g. policies related to local food production, sustainability checklist for developers, policies regarding pesticide use, incentives for using alternative transportation).”

“The focus of the RGS is on the overall pattern of land use in the Valley and the creation of a sustainable human settlement pattern. As such, it’s focus is on defining where future growth will occur and the appropriate type, intensity and form of that growth.”

Geoff Garbutt leads the strategic and long range planning department, which oversees the regional growth strategy and sustainability initiatives,  long range community planning services, transit services,  risk management and strategic planning for the CVRD


To Learn More:

For information about the Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy, click here to access the homepage on the Comox Valley Regional District website. And for information about the Sustainability Strategy, click here.

The image below illustrates the program at a glance.

Posted March 2011