The Comox Valley Regional District is streamlining its Alternative Approval Processes (AAP) to occur once a year each spring. The streamlined process is part of the COVID-19 Finance and Administration Response and Renewal Plan.
Commonly known as a counter-petition, the AAP is a statutory process for local governments to directly engage citizens regarding a service establishment and borrowing. Being far less costly and less complex than a referendum, the AAP is often considered with initiatives that are in the public interest, are required by regulation, or are viewed to be supported by the community.
Under the AAP, the CVRD advertises its proposed action in the local newspaper, and provides at least 30 days for voters to complete and submit an elector response form indicating their opposition to the proposal. If less than 10 per cent of eligible electors register their opposition, the board may choose to proceed with the proposal. If 10 per cent or more oppose the proposal in the time period provided, the regional district board can seek approval of electors by way of a referendum, or it can choose to abandon the initiative. One exception is borrowing for the Conveyance Project where an approved Liquid Waste Management Plan could authorize the expenditure.
“A unified process will ensure clear, consistent timing and messaging with residents, streamline processes internally and save taxpayers money,” CVRD Chief Administrative Officer Russell Dyson said in a news release. “By conducting AAPs each spring, our goal is to make it more straightforward for the public to engage on certain CVRD projects when scheduling permits.”
This year, the initiatives being considered through an AAP include:
Bylaw No. 636 Baynes Sound Community Facilities Support Service Establishment;
Bylaw No. 637 Puntledge North Community Facilities Support Service Establishment / Black Creek Community Centre Amendment;
Bylaw No. 638 Saratoga Beach Mosquito Management Service Establishment;
Bylaw No. 647 Comox Valley Sewer System Conveyance Project Loan Authorization;
Bylaw No. 648 CVRD Northern Garbage Collection Service Establishment;
Bylaw No. 649 CVRD Central Garbage Collection Service Establishment;
Bylaw No. 650 CVRD Southern Garbage Collection Service Establishment.