Current Issues

The 2023 Annual General Meeting of the Society introduced Section 22 of the new draft Christina Lake Official Community Plan (OCP) at which the use of Riparian Guidelines as part of the development permit application process is once again proposed. The suggested changes would also in many cases require an early stage project assessment by a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP). This would entail additional costs and delays to the undertaking of a proposed project at a waterfront property. Details of the proposed new regulations may be read and or downloaded from the RDKB website ( under the ‘Join the Conversation’ link. Scroll down the project page to find the Christina Lake OCP section with the OCP draft 5, copies of relevant maps and an informative section on what are riparian borders and their significance. The society board is in active discussion with the RDKB regarding the implications of these suggested changes to members of our society. You are encouraged to write to the planning department of the RDKB if you are concerned with this proposed new legislation. We have provided in recent emails to members of our society, details of contacts to whom letter of concern should be addressed.

Background to the proposed new OCP Section 22 on the inclusions of Riparian Guidelines to the Development Permit Application Process. – January 3, 2024



A detailed inventory of foreshore development at Christina Lake, under the guidance of the Christina Lake Steward Society (CLSS) took place in 2007.  This survey quantified the extent of foreshore development existing at that time. A copy of this survey document is available on loan from the Lake Steward Society at the Welcome Centre.

This document, together with Riparian Area Development Regulations developed by the provincial government and applied in many area in the province, may have been the driver for discussion within the Christina Lake Advisory Planning Committee (APC) which resulted in the publication by the RDKB on March 1, 2011 of a draft Riparian Area Permit Development Guide for Christina Lake.

This prompted feedback from waterfront property owners at Christina Lake and resulted in the formation of a new society, The Christina Lake Waterfront Property Owners’ Society. The Statement of Purpose of the Society follows:

There are over 600 parcels of land, some of which are crown land, on the waterfront of Christina Lake.  The waterfront owners pay approximately 80% of all property taxes collected in Area C.  Many of the waterfront owners are only part-time residents of Christina Lake and for various reasons have limited input and access to information on property issues and issues surrounding the waterfront.  Most waterfront owners therefore are unaware of new developments which affect their properties or laws which are enacted without their knowledge or input.  Actions taken in the owners’ absence may affect their riparian rights, their quality of vacationing life and their property values.

A survey was conducted by the RDKB to assess support for the proposed riparian area guidelines initiative. The result from this survey was to affirm the importance of maintaining the high water quality of Christina Lake, but that the Riparian Guidelines proposed should not be implemented.

An email under the signature of Grace McGregor, RDKB Area C Regional District Director dated February 21, 2012 was circulated to all interested parties stating this decision. 

The proposed Riparian Guidelines emerged as Proposed Riparian Recommendations.  Some waterfront property owners applied these recommendations to their properties where conditions permitted.

 So the situation remained for some time. 

Provincial legislation requires municipalities and regional governments to review their Official Community Plans (OCP) from time to time to address changing demographics and other circumstances. The current Christina Lake OCP was adopted in 2004 and a review was overdue.  A steering committee consisting of local Christina Lake citizens was struck to undertake a review of the 2004 document and in particular to incorporate the results of a detailed community interest survey that had been undertaken by the RDKB in 2018.

A meeting was held July 5, 2023 at Christina Lake to review and receive community comments on Draft 3 of the proposed new Plan. Timing for this meeting was advertised through the routine weekly eblasts by the Christina Lake Coordinator. Details of important changes to the existing OCP, particularly those potentially impacting members of the Christina Lake Waterfront Property Owners’ Society were not highlighted by the RDKB.

The chairman of the CLWPOS attended this meeting. Copies of draft 3 of the document, dated June 29, 2023 together with supporting maps were provided at this meeting.

Three of the presentations are notable:

  1. A presentation by Interior Health on septic systems. This prompted a question concerning the effect of high water table during spring freshet on possible contamination from a neighbour’s septic system. The response was to speak to Interior Health.
  2. Kristina Anderson, Watershed Planner, gave a thorough review of the importance of the riparian border to stream, river and lake eco systems. This as I recall received no questions
  3. Liz Moore, Senior Planner with the RDKB spoke to proposed changes to the Development Permit Application Process with the reintroduction of the inclusion of riparian border considerations detailed in Section 22 of the plan draft. There were no questions. We may assume that the impact of this proposed legislation would require some time for assessment.

From discussion with many individuals and organizations potentially impacted by the proposed OCP provisions these were not widely understood prior to the July 5th meeting and subsequent contacts through the CLWPOS mail list.

Meetings of the board of CLWPOS followed.  The result was the decision to focus on this proposed legislation at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the CLWPOS, scheduled for August 3rd,

Draft minutes of this meeting are posted on the CLWPOS website.  The main take away was that members of the society were requested to write to local government, should they so wish, expressing concern with the proposed new legislation. 

Over the next several weeks, the lack of consultation, especially with Section 22 of the OCP draft concerning the proposed new legislation became paramount. During this time we learned from members of the review committee, who are also members of CLWPOS, that Section 22 of Draft 3 of the OCP document, relating to Riparian Area Development Guidelines, was a relatively recent addition to the Plan

Kristina Anderson communicated with us following our August 5th AGM.  We responded that members of the society have been contacted with a request to contact the RDKB with concerns, if any, to the proposed new legislation as had been done in 2012.

The RDKB, through Senior Planner Liz Moore, offered to host a review meeting with members of the Society to discuss in more detail the draft OCP.  We replied that the time frame proposed for this meeting by Ms. Moore was insufficient. Assessment of the implications of Section 22 of the draft by our members would take time.

Following a preliminary review of Section 22 of draft 3 of the proposed bylaw, a number of concerns relating to this section were sent to the RDKB.  In due course, a response was received from Senior Planner, Liz Moore. She emphasized that this section of the proposed draft was a local initiative, not an imposition from senior government.

Draft 5 of the OCP was posted on October 29, 2023 with no substantial change. Some effort was made to compare wording between drafts 3 and 5.  No information concerning a Draft 4 was available.

A detailed review of Section 22 of the new Draft 5 of the Plan was undertaken by members of the CLWPOS board. This followed a request by RDKB Senior Planner Liz Moore that we provide a detailed review of sections of the proposed Plan of concern for clarification or revision.

It became clear that it would take considerable time to reach agreement on suggested revisions to this section of the Plan per her request.  Accordingly a draft letter is in review by the CLWPOS Board recommending that further discussion of the proposed Section 22 of the Plan be deferred. As of December 15, 2023, wording of this letter continues in review. Text of this letter should be confirmed at a board meeting scheduled for December 19,2023.

In the meantime, a closed Facebook Group has been developed by the Society Board to provide a simpler communication path to the membership for information and feedback regarding the Plan. This imitative has had significant response from Christina Lake Waterfront property owners with at year end some 150 members.

We have developed a list of members who wish to receive updates on the development of the Plan and to voice concerns.  Meetings on Zoom are being used to supplement email communications.

We have recently been put in contact with the Christina Lake Boat Access Society and their new president Darcy Nelson.  In our first discussion with Darcy it was clear that he personally had been unaware of Section 22 provisions of the proposed new bylaw and that likely other members of his society, who are not on our mail list, were similarly unaware of this proposal.

Weekly board member meetings have started.  We continue to receive requests from waterfront property owners to be included in our ongoing discussions. We are developing contacts with multiple groups at the lake such as CLARA, Christina Sands and Kingsley to ensure that they continue to receive updates on implementation of the draft OCP.