What is a RGS?
Part 13 of the Local Government Act establishes the purpose of an RGS: “to promote human settlement that is socially, economically and environmentally healthy and that makes efficient use of public facilities and services, land and other resources.”
The RGS provides the South Okanagan, and the communities that make up the area, a high-level framework for future decision-making and land use with the aim of preserving the region’s high quality of life and unique environmental features over the strategy’s 20-year period. It provides a shared regional vision of the South Okanagan and commits area municipalities and the RDOS to meet its broad, mutual social, economic and environmental goals.
This RGS also promotes coordination between area municipalities and the RDOS on achieving strategy goals that cross municipal boundaries. It also creates clear links with other regional partners (the Province, Okanagan Basin Water Board, South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program, Penticton Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, etc.) who should be engaged to help implement it.
At the core of this RGS is a commitment to broad-based, long-term sustainable development. The balancing of social, economic, and environmental dimensions of this commitment are clearly expressed in the seven policy areas and supporting goals:
Housing and Development: Focus development to serviced areas in designated Primary Growth Areas and Rural Growth Areas.
Ecosystems, Natural Areas and Parks: Protect the health and biodiversity of ecosystems in the south Okanagan.
Infrastructure and Transportation: Support efficient and effective infrastructure services and an accessible multi-modal transportation network.
Community Health and Wellbeing: Foster healthy, safe communities that provide accessible recreational, educational and cultural opportunities.
Regional Economic Development: Achieve a sustainable, resilient and prosperous South Okanagan regional economy.
Engagement and Collaboration: Foster and support regional cooperation, collaboration and civic engagement.
Energy Emissions and Climate Change: Reduce energy emissions and ensure the South Okanagan is prepared for a changing climate.