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Posted: May 6, 2014

Concern expressed over proposed Whitetail subdivision

By Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

A subdivision proposal for a property east of Whitetail Lake has alarm bells sounding for Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) directors.

Village of Canal Flats Mayor Ute Juras May 2 suggested the regional government should send a letter to the provincial government to voice concerns about Whitetail Lake Land Corporation’s (WLLC) application for a 25-lot subdivision currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Provincial Approving Officer.

Findlay Forest Service Road
Findlay Forest Service Road

Noting that the RDEK previously denied an application by WLLC (in 2010) for subdivision of its 3,789-acre property, Juras said she is concerned about the company’s ability to re-visit its plans by “the back door.”

Regional planner Karen Macleod explained WLLC is utilizing lot averaging under the Strata Property Act in its provincial application for subdivision. “The end result would be approximately the same lot configurations” as if they had received RDEK subdivision approvals.

Electoral Area G Director Gerry Wilkie said the process being followed by WLLC, via the province, is worrisome to the region.

“There is real concern over time of the ability of large land holders to circumvent the RDEK,” he said, adding the issue could become a land use case study moving forward.

Juras added, “There is probably nothing we can do at this point” but the concern must be aired, especially considering previous RDEK denial of a subdivision application.

The board unanimously approved the following motion: “That a letter be sent to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations citing concern about the proposed use of the Whitetail Lake and Findlay Forest Service roads for access to the proposed subdivision at Whitetail Lake by the Whitetail Lake Land Corporation and that the RDEK requests that the ministry undertake public consultation on the proposed access prior to consideration of approval, and that the letter be copied to the Provincial Approving Officer, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Bill Bennett/East Kootenay MLA and Norm Macdonald, Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA.

Above photo: A view from the forest service road of Whitetail Lake, a highly regarded trout fishery, is located about 28 km west of Canal Flats.

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