Ministry of Environment

Environmental Stewardship Division

SEI Update

A publication of the Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory Project
September 1998

Nanoose Bay OCP Identifies SEI sites
The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) recently approved (at third reading) the Official Community Plan for Nanoose Bay – including the identification of a large portion of the community as a Sensitive Ecosystems Development Permit Area (DPA). All SEI sites are identified on the OCP maps.
The Sensitive Ecosystems DPA means that land use and development “should not necessarily encroach into natural environment features”. The onus lies with the applicant to demonstrate that any encroachment is unavoidable due to topography, hazards, etc., and to include appropriate restoration and mitigation measures.

The OCP requires that the application be accompanied by a vegetation and bio-inventory prepared by a registered professional biologist (or similarly qualified individual), who assesses the environmental impact of the proposed development and recommends any mitigative measures to protect habitat. The OCP also notes that the location and boundaries of SEI sites may be revised as site-specific information becomes available.

The protection of environmentally sensitive areas in Nanoose Bay will be supported by:

  • Dedication and/or purchase as park land;
  • Dedication to or purchase by a private land trust;
  • Registration of a restrictive covenant; and/or
  • The use of creative development proposals such as clustering or density averaging.

Nanoose Bay hopes to establish an “environmentally sensitive areas stewardship team” from government and non-government organizations as well as local residents, who will “ensure the maximization of resources and knowledge in the protection of environmentally sensitive areas.” Community education initiatives will also be encouraged.

The RDN is currently preparing an application information bylaw to support the OCP.

For further information, please contact the Regional District of Nanaimo Planning Department at (250) 390-6510.

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