Kimberley City Council approved a development permit to allow for expansion of the Purcell Golf Course, although two councillors, Goodwin and Kitto, were against it.
The development permit also requires all the proper provincial permitting from the proponent, as work will be done alongside the St. Mary River.
When Purcell International Education purchased the Kimberley Golf Course from the existing club, part of the agreement was that 18 holes would be maintained at the course.
Planned construction of school buildings will take out holes, 6, 7, 8 and 9. New holes will be developed along the St. Mary River. Construction is proposed to begin this fall, weather permitting, and continue in 2022 with the holes to be open for play in 2023.
The land for the river holes is primarily on an old flood plain, and here is where Coun. Kitto said he couldn’t support it.
“I cannot support developing on a flood plain,” he said.
Coun. Goodwin said that regardless of whether any buildings are placed there, golf courses use pesticides and herbicides, all of which would end up in the river should a flood occur.
Manager of Planning Services Troy Pollock says that Kimberley’s Official Community Plan allows recreation on a flood plain.
“We wouldn’t allow a permanent building,” he said.
The proposed work considered under this development permit applies only to the land clearing, grading and other site modification for the new golf course holes. The future clubhouse facility or any other occupied buildings are not considered or proposed under this development permit.