A requested property redesignation for a subdivision proposed to go east of Eagle Bay prompted support for process at the regional district board.
At its Feb. 16 meeting, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board gave first reading to an application for an amendment to the Electoral Area E (South Shuswap) official community plan (OCP). The applicant seeks to redesignate a 28.7-hectare property in the 7000 block, on 900 Forest Service Road in Wild Rose Bay, from Large Holdings to Rural Residential, to allow for a 11-lot subdivision.
A CSRD staff report described the property as being located beyond Eagle Bay Road, accessed by a forest service road that also provides access to three small waterfront subdivisions.
Planner Christine LeFloch said the property is outside the Eagle Bay fire protection area and staff recommended that, prior to second reading, the applicant provide the CSRD reports from qualified professionals, including a groundwater feasibility assessment to determine whether there is adequate groundwater available, an assessment from a Registered Onsite Wastewater Professional identifying suitable areas on each proposed lot to accommodate sewage disposal and, from a Registered Professional Forester with experience in forest wildfire assessment, an overall assessment of the site for susceptibility to wildfire.
LeFloch said with the significant change proposed to the OCP, staff recommended a complex consultation process be used where, if first reading is given, the application be referred to various government agencies. The applicant would be required to host a public information meeting, with notes from that meeting given to the CSRD for a future board report. A public hearing would need to be hosted prior to third reading.
South Shuswap director Marty Gibbons supported the application getting first reading, stressing that doesn’t mean the board supports the application, only the process.
Increasing density without structural fire protection was a concern for Gibbons.
“It doesn’t matter where the fire starts, it can spread and it can take out an entire community,” said Gibbons.
Board chair Kevin Flynn asked if the board has ever turned down an application at first reading. Chief administrative officer John MacLean explained the CSRD has no ability to turn down an application until it comes to the board for first reading.
“The board does have the ability, right now, to say we don’t see any viability for this application – we’re going to do away with it at this point,” said MacLean. “But giving it first reading and going through this process does not commit the board to any further action beyond that point.”
Flynn noted ultimate approval would come from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
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