Bella Vista expansion heads to public hearing
By Ian Cobb/e-KNOW
A large development proposal aimed at affordability and toward locals, west of Columere Park, received initial support by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors May 2.
The board unanimously passed the first two readings of bylaws (Bylaw No. 2518 and Bylaw No. 2519 Columbia Lake / Bella Vista Properties Ltd.) to amend the official community plan and initiate rezoning to accommodate a subdivision that would feature 32 single-family homes and 61 multi-family dwellings.
The subject property is located west of Highway 93/95, across from Bella Vista Properties.
The applicant wants to rezone the property from A-2 (Rural Residential Country Zone) to R-1 (Single Family Residential Zone) and R-3 (Multiple Family Residential – Medium Density Zone).
Prior to the Friday morning vote, the Electoral Areas F and G Advisory Planning Commission (APC) April 15 received a delegation from Richard Haworth Development Consulting on behalf of Bella Vista Properties.
“The developer would like to propose a subdivision to create 32 single-family dwellings and 61 multi-family dwellings as a way to address the current real estate market in the Fairmont Hot Springs area,” the APC reported in its minutes. “The single-family dwellings would be situated on the steeper topography while the multi-family dwellings would be constructed on the flatter areas of the property. The multi-family dwellings along the highway will be limited in height to a main level with a walk out basement. The owner is proposing a covenant to prohibit building and tree removal on the slope adjacent to the highway allowing a buffer between the development and highway. The development would be connected to the Columere Parks water works and a four-(septic) field community sewer system is being proposed,” the APC report outlines.
“The developer is agreeing to limit a maximum of 40 single dwellings and 75 multi dwellings. There will be a designated parking area for residents only for their boats and RVs with a new entrance off the highway as per Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure requirements. Although there is no way to predict sales, the development will be a lower price point focusing on principal owners rather than seasonal. Currently there is no dedicated green space,” the APC report concludes.
The APC voted to support Bella Vista Properties with the condition that the slope does not exceed 15% and to provide screening along the RV parking.
“There was some concern regarding adequate parking and green space in the multi-family areas, which may have the potential of 450 people. The whole development has the potential to become a small village. Will the one entrance and egress off the highway be adequate for safety? The steep slope and possible geotechnical hazards of changing the slope were discussed as well as adequate buffering and screening,” the APC report states.
A public hearing for Bylaws No. 2518/2519 is scheduled for May 21, at 7 p.m. in the Birch Room at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
Lead image: A view east from Bella Vista Properties. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW