A land-use amendment bylaw requested by OPD Ventures Ltd. for Pete Martin Bay in Anstey Arm was turned down at last week’s Columbia Shuswap Regional District board meeting in Salmon Arm.
Applicant Lorne Davidson asked to have his property rezoned Rural Holdings in order to accommodate a bare land strata subdivision consisting of nine eight-hectare lots and common property.
Staff recommended the board turn the proposal down because it would create additional lots without access to a public road. And, while the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure right of way provides access to Shuswap Lake, there is no public moorage facility and it is unlikely a private facility would be permitted in front of a public access.
“The main concern from adjacent landowners was the impact that additional lots may have on the environment, specifically the impact a new moorage facility might have on Pete Martin Bay,” wrote CSRD senior planning Scott Beeching in his report to the board.
Two directors who attended an Aug. 16 public hearing on the matter expressed their own concerns.
Area E Rural Sicamous director Rhona Martin said she supported staff’s recommendation to turn down the application.
She said the developer previously had access to the lake but had sold the property.
Also at issue was the “mucky” nature of the shallow Pete Martin Bay and the need for any wharf to extend some 300 feet out in order to accommodate boats.
Martin said if a local forest service road were ever to become a public road, the board could look at this proposal again.
Area D director René Talbot also attended the Aug. 16 public hearing, and said he heard the 40 residents in attendance raise concerns about all the other services that would be required for the development.
Ted Bacigalupo, Area C South Shuswap director, noted his only concern was how far down the road a development is allowed to progress before the developer is turned down.
“A lot of effort has gone into this,” he said. “Is there not a better way to identify planning obstacles right at the very beginning to avoid an 11th-hour refusal?”
Beeching replied that the application had initially been received at the regional district more than six years ago and had included some 40 lots.
“The property has been sold several tines and in the end the property was absorbed by another large company,” he said. “The developers were made aware their chances were very low.”