A residential development proposal in the Lizard Creek area near Fernie has finally got the go-ahead from the Regional District of East Kootenay.
Bylaws 3213 and 3214, which amend the Elk Valley Official Community Plan and Elk Valley Zoning Bylaw to rezone multiple properties known as the Galloway Lands in Electoral Area A, have been adopted by the RDEK Board on Friday, July 14.
The proposal has caused considerable discussion in Fernie and area, with people strongly against or for the development.
“This proposal was one that all of us as Directors took a great deal of time to review and to consider,” said RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “Most of our Directors attended either one or both nights of the two-night public hearing and we are deeply appreciative of all those who contributed their input both informally over the past several months and formally through public hearing process. This was not an easy decision.
“Although there continue to be differing opinions, it speaks to the character of our Board that these discussions have remained respectful and professional.”
The Galloway Lands plan features 90 single family homes on a 185-hectare property adjacent to the Fernie Alpine Resort. However, it has been criticized by residents and conservation groups concerned about environmental impacts to to wildlife and aquatic species habitat.
The Board voted 9-5 in favour of adopting the Bylaws, which will permit increased residential development on the subject properties adjacent to Fernie Alpine Resort. The required development agreements have been finalized and the next step in the process will be for the developer to apply for subdivision to create the conservation / recreation parcel on the properties.
The bylaws received third reading in May and had been awaiting approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure before coming back to the RDEK Board for consideration and adoption. The Board adopted the bylaws at it’s July board meeting on Friday.
Impacts to the environment, whether to the wildlife corridor on the land or concerns with aquatic species in Lizard Creek, were a common theme from those opposed to the development proposal.