The South Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is a long-term planning project that deals with growth management issues over a 20-year period. The RGS aims to ensure that growth in the South Okanagan takes place in a sustainable manner. To accomplish this, the South Okanagan RGS takes a "big picture" approach to planning which identifies and prioritizes goals across the region to meet common social, economic and environmental objectives. In doing so, the RGS examines regional issues such as air quality, water quality and supply, economic development, housing, transportation, parks and natural areas, and infrastructure planning.
The South Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) encompasses the southern portion of the Okanagan Valley and includes RDOS Electoral Areas “A”, “C”, “D”, “E”, “F”, and “I” as well as the municipalities of Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton and Summerland.
The RGS has been developed using a collaborative process that involves ongoing work with the public, First Nations, local, regional, provincial and federal governments.
The Local Government Act (LGA) establishes the purpose of a 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 LGA requires any regional district with an RGS to consider once every five years whether an RGS review is required. Since the RDOS Board adopted the RGS in 2010 and initiated its last minor review in 2015, 2020 is considered a suitable time to begin this review process.
The current review of the RGS is proposing to replace the Designated Regional Growth Strategy Primary and Rural Growth Areas Map (Map 3) with a new map schedule and to update the "Housing and Development" objectives and policies under "Goal 1" to support the new map schedule land use classifications. Other amendments will relate to updating the Energy Emissions and Climate Change section of the Strategy as well as the community profile section with new Census data.