Kimberley City Council held a public hearing Monday evening to hear from residents on a proposed amendment to the Official Community Plan and a zoning amendment on a piece of land currently owned by the Kimberley Golf Club.
The 9.6 hectare (23 acre) parcel of land is currently designated as Golf Course in the OCP and the bylaw would change it to Low Density Residential, Open Space and Parkland. Zoning would change to Low Density Residential Zone R-13 from Community Recreation P-3.
While there had been some discussion at Council about the ramifications of allowing the subdivision to use septic systems rather than city sewer, that was not something Council heard about at the hearing.
The concerns voiced at the meeting came from the same group, St. Mary Lake Road residents, who are not on board with the subdivision at all.
“We love our area and are quite protective of it, maybe too protective, but that’s how we feel,” said spokesperson Cheryl Olsen.
Olsen told Council that the St. Mary Valley part of the Kimberley Rural OCP has goals which include maintaining the rural character of the area and protecting wildlife habitat. A key component of rural character is open space, Olsen said.
“This is another stepping stone to more sprawl,” she said. “Especially when other subdivisions in the city are nowhere near full.”
Development is also the largest threat to wildlife in the St. Mary Valley, Olson says. That particular piece of land is a valuable wildlife corridor between the river and Sunflower Hill.
While no one else attended the meeting to speak, it turns out the city neglected to post signs about the proposed zoning change and therefore the hearing was adjourned to the next meeting of Council on November 10, where there will be one more opportunity to speak in support or opposition to the zoning change.