Vernon City Council have referred the concerns of ten-year-old student Neave Allen regarding air quality and net-zero waste programs to the Regional District of North Okanagan.
Neave Allen spoke to Vernon City Council January 24 regarding climate change. She urged Council to make emissions reduction a priority, to stop development outside the core of the city, to provide bicycle sharing programs, provide better transit, forbid all idling, pass green building regulations and encourage green roofs and solar panels.
On January 28, staff were directed to investigate the feasibility of creating an anti-idling bylaw and of becoming a Solar Ready Community.
A Solar Ready Community would require all new development to be built 'solar ready' and provide the option for future residents to install solar panels or solar hot-water systems.
Council also directed Staff to inform Neave of the initiatives that have already been supported by Council to decrease carbon emissions and provide choices for residents about their mode of travel.
Some of the Council's initiatives:
- Encourage walking, cycling and transit use through the Official Community Plan, transit and transportation planning, as well as through the School Travel Plans and the East Hill Active Travel Plan which is currently underway.
- Address the OCP 2008 Land Use Plan and Growth Strategy emphasize encouraging development in the City Centre, while limiting sprawl and protecting agricultural lands and sensitive ecosystem areas.
- Address air quality issues related to vehicle emissions through an annual event, Clean Air Day, which continues to spread the message to decrease the number of vehicle trips through the use of transit and to turn off vehicles instead of idling.