By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
Crown land in the Nelson Landing development proposal has caused much talk in the community as to how public land factors into the re-zoning deal, but the City’s senior planner has the answer.
Dave Wahn said David Sorensen owns a one-metre strip of upland between the CP Rail lands (and rail line) and Area I of the waterfront development lands, part of the former Kootenay Forest Products site.
That one-metre strip was added several years ago as an accretion (addition), giving the owner, now Sorensen, the designation as the upland owner above Area I, which is Crown land.
Area I is a flat rectangular piece of land that is landfill (industrial waste dump) and is owned by the Crown, subsequently zoned as park and open space (no residential development). There are triplexes and five-plexes proposed for this area in the Nelson Landing proposal.
However, no accretion was applied for on Area I, said Wahn. So how did Sorensen (Nelson landing Development Corp.) get title to Crown land? Well, said Wahn, he doesn’t have title, yet.
Historically, the old property line for the upland was Kootenay Forest Products land.
The slice of land immediately adjacent to the railway tracks — that flares out towards Red Sands to the clump of trees there — was all one property.
In time KFP filled in the lake right in front of that real narrow strip of land (that was adjacent to the CP land), with approval from the Province at the time.
Using materials likely from KFP operations — and possibly other industries — they subsequently created land, and it was established as a parcel of land where it was previously lakebed.
And that parcel of land (Area I), once it was created, went on title to the Crown, even though KFP created it with their own materials.
That piece of Crown land is surrounded by the lake on one side and on the other three sides by the land that was KFP land, now owned by Nelson Landing Development Corp.
The Crown, where they have land they deem surplus, offers it first to the upland owner because the only access to it is either by boat or through the upland. In this case the upland owner is Nelson Landing Development Corp.
Wahn said likely the company approached the Province and asked if they could buy the land if they were willing to apply for rezoning — with the intention that they would be interested in purchasing that property if the rezoning went through.
The Crown has given a letter of agency to the City saying they would support Nelson Landing moving forward with a rezoning application on that land.
“They are effectively an agent for the Crown in that instance,” said Wahn.
If the rezoning went through, at that point the Crown would sell that land to Sorensen for market value and it would become property of Nelson Landing.
Wahn said he is still working on the report for City council on the choice for one of the options for the land — which Sorensen dropped in council’s lap last week — but is “some ways away” from getting that to council.
Nelson Landing involves seven areas
Areas E, F, G and H are zoned for residential and some commercial use. Current zoning allows for 91 residential units and 110 hotel units in these four areas.
Area I is a flat rectangular piece of land that is landfill (industrial waste dump) and is owned by the Crown, zoned as park and open space (no residential development). There are triplexes and five-plexes proposed for this area.
Area J is zoned as park and open space (no rezone planned).
Area K is the forest on the west end of Red Sands Beach, the land around the beach and the woods on the east (the city limits). It is zoned park and open space and would require a rezone if development occurs.
Both areas J and K have been offered to the City —with construction of a toilet and parking spots — but could remain park and open space.