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North Shore development project Shannon Orchard slated for rezoning public hearing

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
February 24th, 2016

The large North Shore development project that was once expected to bring over 88 housing units to Four Mile five years ago but eventually disappeared is once again on the radar.

Shannon Orchard is up for rezoning, with the public hearing to take place Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Regional District of Central Kootenay boardroom (202 Lakeside Dr.) in Nelson.

A proposal is on the table to amend the Area F Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2214 by re-designating a portion of Shannon Orchard from ‘high density residential’ to ‘suburban residential.’

As well, Bylaw 2485 is being proposed for amendment of the zoning designation of a portion of the subject property from high density residential F (R6F) to suburban residential F (R1F) and text amendments to the high density residential F (R6F) zone to provide options for density provisions based on levels of servicing.

The public hearing on the bylaws is to be held by Electoral Area F director Tom Newell, as a delegate of the RDCK board.

Written submissions for or against the proposed amendment can be read, or verbal submissions made, at the public hearing.

The Shannon Orchard development

As it was once touted in mid 2011, Shannon Orchard was expected to offer small lot, private and manageable situations many older West Kootenay folk were seeking, said developer Bob Bennett of Okanagan Real Estate Choice, at the time.

The 88-unit single-family development had cleared many zoning and permitting hurdles and work was expected to begin in 2012.

“There isn’t a development like this one anywhere in the greater Nelson area,” he said in June, 2011. “We’re filling a void between the large parcel, the five-acre parcel, that becomes unmanageable for older people, and the condominium.”

The Kelowna-based group (www.theorec.com) — which includes Olympic snowboard gold medal winner Ross Rebagliati — was building for local seniors and empty-nesters who wanted smaller, patio homes (1,200 to 1,800 square feet) with smaller yards (45×85 foot lots).

Jumping over the hurdles

The Regional District of Central Kootenay had approved the down zoning for the property, originally zoned for town homes, in September of 2008. The board also approved acquisition of Shannon Orchard subdivision’s water and sewer services and the creation of a local service area.

The RDCK did not have a lot size to suit the development — the smallest they had was a half acre — so they amended an existing bylaw and down zoned the land for the bare land strata.

Area F director at the time, Al Dawson, had said there was some opposition to the creation of the strata, but getting the developer to pay for the capital costs of the sewage treatment and the water system — and building it to RDCK, health and environment standards — clinched the deal in face of opposition.

The end result

If completed, Shannon Orchard Ltd. was expected to transfer all of the assets to the RDCK for $1 and the two utilities will be operated by the regional district, with the taxation to cover the operation coming from the area that benefits from it.

The project will contain capacity to add water and sewer module upgrades to nearby archaic systems in the areas of Nasookin subdivision, Ridgewood Road and Taylor subdivision, with the ability to implement a water reservoir.

A survey was completed on the source for the water, Shannon Creek, but the existing water licences on the creek are not enough.

Although initial approval for the development has been given by the Department of Highways, Bennett said there are some areas they still need to negotiate on. Highways has asked the developers to put in a left hand turning lane on the highway and include more land in case Highway 3A’s capacity is increased to four lanes.

RDCK draft financial plan

RDCK staff and elected officials will present the draft 2016-2020 RDCK Financial Plan throughout communities in the region, including a March 8 date in Nelson.

This is a chance to learn about regional district finance, ask questions of staff and elected officials, and provide input on the budget.

The first local meeting will take place in Slocan and Area H on Wednesday, March 2, 6 p.m. in Slocan Village council chambers.

That meeting will be followed by Nelson, Areas E and F on Tuesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. in the RDCK boardroom, 202 Lakeside Drive.

Salmo and Area D will have their turn on Thursday, March 10 at 6 p.m. in the Salmo Village council chambers.

The ball will roll back into the Slocan Valley for a meeting for Silverton, New Denver and Area H on Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. in Silverton Memorial Hall.

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