Kimberley zoning hearing resumes

Council hears from proponents of four-home development on St. Mary Lake Road

The zoning hearing regarding a potential four-home housing development on a 23 acre lot on St. Mary Lake Road resumed on Monday evening at City Council. The hearing had been halted so that the City could properly notify surrounding residents with signage.

At the of the hearing, Council heard from St. Mary Lake road residents in opposition to the development.

Monday’s hearing began with presentations from those who support it.

Speaking first was Gord Jenkins from the Kimberley Golf Club, who outlined the reasons that the club wished to sell the parcel of land.

Simply put, Jenkins said, the golf business has been in tough times for the past five years and the money from the sale was needed for replacement of aging equipment.

“We’re cautiously optimistic, we’ve made a lot of changes, but revenues have stayed the same since 2009 and expenses have risen,” Jenkins said.

The club needs cash, he said, and had no use for the land.

Jenkins also addressed the opposition to the development, saying that the overall property was large with only four houses proposed. Wildlife, which was a concern expressed, uses the gullies, which are not useful for building sites.

As for the concern around the use of septic systems rather than tying into city sewer, Jenkins said that with a large subdivision it might be economically feasible but with such a small development, it was not.

“Right now, this land sale will help us (the golf club) immensely,” Jenkins said. “No one knows where the industry will be in five years.”

Council then heard from the proponents who want to build on the land, Kimberley residents Grant Sharam and Steve Brine.

“Steve and I are not developers, we’re locals,” Sharam said. “I want to build a house there.”

They have been working on the proposal for over a year, Sharam said, and were comfortable with the geotechnical work, the perk tests for septic, fire hydrants, hydro and the one driveway off the main road. Where they hung up, he said, was the sewer.

“It’s the most complex and expensive option, to hook up to city sewer.”

Brine added that they had spoken to experts about septic fields, who were comfortable that they would work well on the sites.

Council also heard from St. Mary Lake Road resident Cheryl Olsen again about concerns around animal corridors.

The decision on the zoning change was not made Monday evening, though Council did give the bylaw second and third reading. A staff report will come to Council next meeting, the last meeting of this particular Council, as the election is on Saturday and new Mayor and Council will be sworn in in early December.