City says no dust control for road that is not a road

The City declined a request to provide dust control to residents who live near an undeveloped gravel road at the top of Victoria Avenue.

The City of Cranbrook declined a request to provide dust control to residents who live near an undeveloped gravel road at the top of Victoria Avenue. Council received a letter in May from two residents with concerns around dust issues. The residents live on the 1400 block of 21A Avenue South. The gravel road is 22nd Avenue South.

“There’s a bit of a history, as you can see, on this road,” explained CAO Wayne Staudt at the June 8 council meeting. “This road came to us as a result of taking in the College of the Rockies Gold Creek Campus when they bought that from TransCanada pipeline and they needed services up there. We provided services.”

The letter concerns the undeveloped road that runs behind the College of the Rockies Gold Creek Campus, and requests that dust suppression activities be undertaken by the City of Cranbrook to control the dust.

“The bottom line is this is not truly a road, but people are starting to use it,” Staudt said. “It is not a developed road, it is not a construction road and it is not considered to be a lane way either, but people are making use of it as a road.”

Staudt said the city has not maintained the road in the past, and prior to the city taking over the land it was under the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Regional District of East Kootenay.

“And they did not maintain it as a road either,” he said. “Public Works has no intentions of maintaining it.”

He added that they have no intention of blocking it off either. There is also no winter plowing of the road either, as the residences in that area can be accessed from 22nd Avenue South.

“That is the route we would use for any kind of emergency access we would need, for fire or anything like that,” he said.

City staff noted that when this road was the jurisdiction of the MOTI and RDEK, a building permit for a residence was issued for the lot. The permit showed the single access to the property being off 22nd Avenue South, when the property, which is located in the RDEK, is addressed off 13th Street South, where the driveway leaves a paved road. However, the 13th Street South driveway is treed in and would need to be cleared to allow access.

The city noted that since that time, the Orchard Heights Subdivisions have been developed to the west. In that area, many of the residents whose properties back onto this road dedication use it to access the rear of their properties.

The city also noted that the developer was not required to construct that portion of  22nd Avenue South for road dedication, thereby prohibiting access to the back of the properties.

“If these newly-created properties were to have access off 22nd Avenue South, the developer would have been required to construct this portion of road,” city staff wrote.

Lot owners have also approached the city in the past to enquire about building garages with access off the road dedication. In all cases, they have been told they cannot build garages off the road dedication because it is an undeveloped and unconstructed road and, therefore, not a proper access.