Although Kimberley expanded its boundaries to include the Taylor’s Mill development some six years ago, the project has never gone forward, coinciding as it did with the global economic downturn.
However, the proponent, Fraser Armstrong, has continued to work with the City of Kimberley’s planning department, and has now proposed a different type of development for the property.
Council has authorized staff to take a look at this new Sustainable Living Business Incubation Model and come back to Council with recommendations.
What is being proposed is a more rural residential development which allows businesses such as greenhouses, building and trade contractors, craft workshops, veterinary clinics and a variety of home-based businesses. The common thread for all these businesses is that it is often beneficial for the owners to live in close proximity to their business.
These type of businesses cannot afford high up-front costs or storefront rentals. The proponent seeks to have the area recognized by the City of Kimberley as a work/live business incubator.
A key to this development, which is seen as the first phase to lead Taylor’s Mill growth would be controlled infrastructure costs. The suggestion is that infrastructure should be rural in nature, for instance, using small-diameter piping for potable water and on-site septic systems for sewage. Gravel roads instead of paved, above ground cables for telephone/electricity instead of buried, and potable water sourced from the reservoir above the City maintenance centre are all suggested. The project would also be looking for fire protection suitable for rural areas rather than urban.
Each lot would be large enough to accommodate the work/live model as well as a large garden to promote food sustainability. A grey-water collection system would collect water discharged from laundry and bathing for outside irrigation and inside toilet flushing. Heat transfers, solar collectors and cogeneration are also suggested for heating.
Coun. Don McCormick said that since 2008 rules around development have changed substantially and the City needs to look at different ways of incorporating developments.
Coun. Kent Goodwin said that a development of this type is more rural and perhaps was better suited to being in the RDEK rather than city boundaries. He also wanted the Fire Chief involved in looking at the fire protection suggested in the model.
Coun. Albert Hoglund said he had concerns about the smaller diameter piping.
“If you don’t put big enough piping in the ground are you going to be able to expand when you want to?” he asked.
These questions and more will be looked at by staff as they prepare recommendations for Council.