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Posted: July 17, 2015

JGMRM process to continue despite uncertainty

Jumbo municipality OCP public hearing report released

By Chris Conway

Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality has released a report on the public hearing held June 16 as part of its Official Community Plan (OCP) adoption process.

According to the report, a form letter was made available through the Wildsight website, which resulted in 210 signed submissions; 104 form letter submissions were received with additional comments. Nineteen letters were also received directly from people via email and one letter was received via regular mail. The report notes that only one letter was in support of the project and the OCP process.

Approximately 50 people attended the public hearing in-person and 11 of those people made verbal submissions to the municipal council regarding the OCP. None of the verbal submissions were in support of the project or the OCP.

The report summarizes the verbal comments and includes appendices with copies of the written submissions.

Some of the people in attendance at the public hearing questioned why it had not been recorded. Following the hearing the Village of Radium Hot Spring’s chief administrative officer (CAO) Mark Read confirmed that the meeting had in fact been recorded. Read, who provides acting-CAO services to the Jumbo municipality, is the author of the OCP public hearing report. Neither the hearing recording nor a transcript have been made available on the municipal website.

On June 18, two days following the public hearing, the provincial government announced that the Glacier Resorts Ltd. (GRL) Environmental Assessment Certificate had expired and the resort project was therefore halted indefinitely.

“We haven’t heard anything from the province, and I wouldn’t expect to hear anything until the province and the proponent have met and decided what the next steps will be,” stated Jumbo mayor Greg Deck following the minister’s decision. “The municipality exists to provide certainty to the land use question and to translate the agreements between the province and the proponent into local government bylaws. If those agreements are in question, then so is the purpose of the municipality. But we have no more information on that at this point than anyone else.”

“I expect that we will continue with the business underway until we receive clear direction from the province that our work is no longer required,” Deck added.

In its 2015 Annual Report the municipality states that following Environment Minister (Mary) Polak’s determination that the proponent has not met the standards for substantial commencement under the EA certificate, the municipality intends to continue work on the OCP while being alert to the potential for changes in its mandate.

The annual report also states that the municipality’s objectives for 2016 are to continue developing municipal policies and regulations, including the resort base zoning bylaw, so as to provide the appropriate administrative framework for a functioning resort municipality.

By order of the Letters Patent that formed the municipality, the OCP must not supersede or impair, or relieve any obligation imposed under the master development agreement between the government and GRL. The expiry of the EA certificate has placed the master development agreement in legal limbo. It remains unclear how the municipality intends to adopt an OCP reflecting a master development agreement that no longer has any certainty or effect.

The OCP bylaw is on the agenda for the next council meeting to be held July 21 at 1 p.m. at the Radium council chambers.

Also on the agenda is approval of the June cheque register showing expenditures of $24,100.37

The OCP public hearing report including submissions may be found on the municipal website at

Also this week, the West Kootenay EcoSociety is going to court to try and overturn the creation of the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality. More HERE.

Lead image: Coun. Nancy Hugunin, Mayor Greg Deck and Coun. Stephen Ostrander during the JGMRM OCP public hearing. Chris Conway photo

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