The Regional Growth Strategy includes provisions for a process under which amendments determined to be minor do not need to follow the regular bylaw amendment process. A regular amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy must be accepted by all member municipalities and adjacent regional districts. If any of these local governments do not accept the amendment, the amendment is then subject to a provincially mandated resolution process.
Comparatively, a minor amendment process only requires the Board to provide notice to affected local governments and to consider the feedback in the outcome. Please click here to view a comparison of a regular Regional Growth Strategy amendment and a minor amendment.
The current Regional District of Nanaimo Regional Growth Strategy Bylaw No. 1615 contains criteria for minor amendments outlined in Section 1.5.1. This section is divided into two parts. The first part outlines the criteria under which a proposed amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy may be considered minor. The second part outlines some of the types of amendments that are not considered minor.
The RDN Board expressed two concerns with the current criteria for minor amendments. The first concern of the Board was that it was not clear whether the types of amendments considered minor and the types of amendments that are not considered minor were meant to be considered together. The way in which the RGS was formatted left some uncertainty about amendments that included those situations that were listed as amendments not considered minor. The second concern was with one of the criteria that a proposed amendment may be minor if it results from a "full Official Community Plan review process," as the section is not clear on what is meant by a full Official Community Plan review process.
The proposed amendment that will address the Regional District Board's concerns is to clarify that the list of amendments not considered minor do not apply if a full Official Community Plan process has been done and that each of the types of amendments has been contemplated as part of the Official Community Plan review process. The proposed change clarifies that the first and second part of Section 1.5.1 can be read separately and it provides a minimum set of items that must be considered for a full Official Community Plan review. See the proposed change here.