RDEK board changes mind on boundary expansion support
The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors Jan. 10 retracted support for a City of Cranbrook boundary expansion proposal in the vicinity of 17th Street South.
The vote followed a request from Electoral Area C Director and Board Chair Rob Gay for the board to reconsider support of the boundary expansion and rescind Resolution No. 48853.
Additionally, the board agreed to a motion that the City of Cranbrook be advised that the RDEK does not support the proposed 18.6 ha boundary.
The board adopted Resolution No. 48853, declaring its support, on December 6, 2019.
Director Gay submitted the following comments, as outlined by a RDEK staff report to the board.
“Rational for extension – From what Director Gay can gather via documentation and discussion, the only rational for this extension is from one owner who would like to subdivide their property. Existing available land base within city limits –staff reports suggest capacity of 5,000+/- dwelling units currently exist. Ministry guidelines: ‘Generally, the Minister will not recommend a boundary extension to Cabinet if a majority of property owners within the proposed extension area object.’
Gay also advised that 15 of the 18 impacted property owners do not support the proposed expansion; making 83% opposed.
The staff report continued: “An exception may be made where overriding provincial or local issues exist, such as resolving public health concerns or environmental protection issues. To Director Gay’s knowledge, there are no public health concerns (wells and septic systems are working fine) nor do any environmental protection issues exist. In summary, Director Gay is not in support of the City of Cranbrook proposed boundary expansion at this time. In his view no sound rational exists, by its own figures the city has more than ample room to develop and grow, and provincial guidelines will not be met.”
Following the board vote, Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski noted the decision was made following a well fleshed out process.
“It’s good for rural residents to know they have a say,” he said.
Lead image: Map showing area proposed for expansion into the city. City of Cranbrook map