Strategic Plan

Council’s Vision for 2023-2026

The vision for our term is to leave Bowen Island an even better community than we found it when we came together as Mayor and Council in late 2022. We will have worked together to:

  • earn the community’s trust by governing within the limits of our resources and in an open and ethical way;
  • complete community work that has been started; and
  • prepare for our future with an evolved Official Community Plan and initiatives that make us more inclusive and ready to withstand internal and external pressures, including climate change.
Councillor Tim Wake, Councillor
Alison Morse, Mayor Andrew Leonard, Councillor Judith
Gedye, Councillor John Saunders, Councillor Sue Ellen
Fast, Councillor Alex Jurgensen
Councillor Tim Wake, Councillor Alison Morse, Mayor Andrew Leonard, Councillor Judith Gedye, Councillor John Saunders, Councillor Sue Ellen Fast, Councillor Alex Jurgensen

Our approach to governing

We know that strong community engagement is critical as we focus on completing existing projects and
planning for an inclusive, resilient future. We commit to:

  • be accessible, whether we’re out in the community or in Council Chambers and committee rooms;
  • offer a variety of ways for people to express their input, ideas and concerns;
  • identify and remove barriers to community participation; and
  • consider diverse perspectives in our decision-making.

Clear, regular communication from Council is also important. We commit to keeping the community informed of what we’re working on, why it matters, and what the community can expect to see over time.
Sometimes, hard or controversial decisions must be made that will have a significant impact on the community. We won’t shy away from them, and will explain our decisions as quickly and clearly as we can.

Our responsibility

Throughout our term, we will remain focused on providing fiscally-responsible stewardship to commitments we inherited, and to be prudent about adding new commitments until the existing work is complete or closer to completion.

Strategic planning continuum

The 2023-2026 Strategic Plan informs and focuses the decisions and policies of Council during our term of office. The plan is executed through the annual financial planning process, staff department work plans and committee work plans.

This plan is a living document and Council will update it as necessary to address emerging issues or changing priorities. Regular strategic check-in meetings will be scheduled to provide an opportunity for Council and staff to regularly review and analyze progress. These check-ins will also be an opportunity to review new initiatives to determine if BIM has the capacity and resources to take them on.

The Annual Report will provide an opportunity to communicate progress in achieving Council’s goals, and celebrate our successes of each year.

An image of trees with a circular graphic overlay depicting Strategic Plan Update - Annual Budget - Staff Work Plans & Committee Work Plans - Strategic Check-ins - Annual Report

After a full year of our term in office, Council is realizing that the initiatives we would like to maintain and take on outweigh the capacity and resources of our staff and volunteers to carry out the work involved. The day to day operation of a Municipality takes up about 80% of staff’s time, leaving about 20% to focus on strategic initiatives. We intend to narrow our focus through our Strategic Check-Ins and reprioritize as needed, and be very careful about taking on anything new before we have completed or made substantial progress on existing initiatives.

What we plan to achieve

We have four strategic goals to help us achieve our term vision.

Ensure that Bowen Island supports a diverse population that can take pride in our environment and
livability. This includes our efforts to face existing pressures – internal and external – and plan for future challenges. It also includes our efforts to promote a sense of community to all that reside here.

Strategic InitiativeActionsTarget
Diverse and affordable housingConsider opting-in to new Provincial Short Term Rental
regulations; develop an implementation plan if so

Develop a comprehensive implementation plan for Lot 1 of the Community Lands

Implement a Cluster Zoning Pilot Project

Complete actions required in recent Provincial Housing

Complete initiatives in Bowen Island’s Housing Accelerator Fund grant application

Create a working group to explore establishing a
community-owned housing organization
Community CentreComplete construction

Move in
Official Community PlanEstablish a Steering Committee

Establish Work Plan and launch public engagement
Public TransitEngage Translink to promote increased ridership and
implement an on-demand bus

Advocate for improved ferry services including an
electric passenger ferry

Encourage more water taxi services
RevenueAdvocate for inclusion in the Islands Coastal Economic

Implement the Municipal Regional District Tax (2025)

Consider pay parking in Snug Cove

Consider a ferry marshalling fee for non-residents (2025)

Implement Development Cost Charges (sewer, 2024)

Explore alternative revenue streams with UBCM, the
Provincial government and other local governments

Address our infrastructure deficits, and measure and manage our capital assets. This foundational work – addressed strategically – will enable other critical community priorities such as affordable and diverse housing supply.

Strategic InitiativeActionsTarget
Asset Management PlanUpdate the Guiding Principles for Planning and Budgeting Decision-Making Policy

Increase contributions to the year-over-year commitment to the fund for annual roadway and access works
Self-Sufficiency in Public WorksUndertake capital projects with BIM staff wherever possible

Ensure staff training and professional development
Critical Municipal Utility System IssuesCommission Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant

Continue Bluewater Park Water System Improvements Project

Initiate Eagle Cliff Cove Bay Connection Project

Initiate Snug Cove Sewer Outfall Replacement Project

Address Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) concerns

Establish ourselves as trusted leaders of the community who invite and value the participation of
individuals, community groups, and other partners to plan our future. Recognized as ethical, transparent, and able to make good community decisions, even under pressure. Create the conditions and opportunities for our staff to harness their expertise in an efficient and effective way.

Strategic InitiativeActionsTarget
First Nations EngagementBuild a relationship with the Squamish Nation to determine a shared vision for Bowen Island and a consultation protocol2024
Strategic Relationships to Help Us Respond to Community NeedsContinue to engage with organizations such as the Islands Trust, Translink, BC Ferries and the Provincial government2024
Snug Cove Design GuidelinesUpdate recent draft with noted deficiencies

Present to Advisory Design Panel for approval

Present to Council for direction to draft bylaw to adopt into Land Use Bylaw

Conduct public consultation

Strengthen and protect our natural ecosystems, address the effects of climate change and protect our Island lifestyle. This includes managing our natural assets and supporting continued biodiversity.

Strategic InitiativeActionsTarget
Crown Lands ProtectionEngage the Provincial government to plan for all crown land blocks on Bowen Island2024
Art Rennison Nature ReserveDevelop a management plan based on community engagement for the Nature Reserve and trail systems around Grafton Lake2025
Financial Policies to Support Ecosystem ProtectionDevelop a conservation-based rate structure for all municipal water systems2024
Water SystemsContinue to advocate to the Provincial government for funding to offset costs of improving Bowen’s drinking water infrastructure

Engage other local governments regarding the financial viability of small water systems