RDEK entertaining Elkhorn downzoning
By Ian Cobb/e-KNOW
Development plans at the Elkhorn and Alpine Ranch areas of Windermere continue to change.
On May 2, Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors unanimously passed the first two readings of Bylaws No. 2520 and 2521, which propose amendments to two areas within Elkhorn Ranch and Alpine Ranch along Kootenay Road #3.
The proposal is to downzone the property to accommodate a smaller number of single-family residential units. Additionally, a request for the release of restrictive covenants requiring community water and community sewer for future parcels on one of the areas was also considered by the board.
In a report to the board, the regional planning office explained: “The northern subject area is to be down-zoned and retained as agricultural land. The proposal is to amend the Lake Windermere OCP designation from R-SF, Residential Low-Density and R-MF, Residential Multi-Family to RR, Rural Resource and to amend the Upper Columbia Valley Zoning Bylaw designation from R-1, Single Family Residential Zone and R-5, Multiple Family Residential – Community (Cluster) Zone to A-2, Rural Residential (Country) Zone. No subdivision is proposed for this area.
“The proposal for the southern subject area is a subdivision to create 37 parcels between 1.0 ha and 2.43 ha in area. Each parcel would be serviced by a groundwater well and on-site sewage disposal system, subject to the removal or modification of covenants KX137576 and LB138480. The southern area requires an amendment to the Lake Windermere OCP designation of the subject property from R-SF, Residential Low- Density, R-MF, Residential Multi-Family, OSRT, Open Space Recreation & Trails and RR, Rural Resource to SH, Small Holdings.”
Richard Haworth, representing Elkhorn Ranch Ltd., appeared before the Electoral Area F and G Advisory Planning Commission (APC) April 15.
In a report to the regional board, the APC noted from his presentation, “The delegate was asked if the ALC is in favour of the current proposal and he responded that they were. The ALC has asked the developer to come with a vision of the whole property and not the piecemeal changes that he has been bringing forward.
“The developer would like to return area one of the property back to A-2, Rural residential with no subdivisions. They would like to change Area 3 to SH-2, Small holding semi-rural with a maximum of 37 parcels ranging in sizes from 1.0 ha to 2.43 ha.
“There will be onsite wells and septic systems on each parcel. The developer will need to provide proof that the current wells in the existing developed area will not be affected and that there is suitable water on each proposed parcel. The amount of parcels may be decreased if water is not found on each parcel.
“The developer is asking for a discharge of the community water and sewer system covenant currently in place. ALC requires the irrigation to be in place and fully functioning. The ALC does not allow pathways across ALR land. There are no plans for fencing in area three other than the three-foot fencing required between the ALR and the subdivision.”
The regional board also received a letter signed by three current Elkhorn Estate Phase One property owners who are citing concerns about impacts to their water supply.
Bonnie Lou Ferris, Miko Puskaric and Jeff Ferris submitted a letter April 25 noting fears about impacts to drinking water from the potential impact of more wells tapping into their aquifer.
A public hearing on the bylaws and the covenant release will be held June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Windermere Community Hall.
Lead image: Historic Alpine Ranch, Windermere. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW