March 30, 2016
To: Dan Passmore, CSRD Senior Planner
Via email to email@example.com
Re: Gateway Application for Zoning Amendment
These are the concerns we have with the proposed development expansion:
- The sewage treatment plan, as presented, has not been approved by the Ministry of Environment. Gateway is proposing that the system be taken over by the CSRD, which would require our tax dollars to fund a problematic system designed to help the developer profit from the development. There is very little suitable land below the bluff with adequate soil coverage for drip irrigation. The plan still calls for lake discharge if and when other dispersal methods are not feasible, such as during the freshet period.
- Flooding occurs frequently, which results the sewage system to be shut down. Rapid infiltration is proposed for a corner of the development that was under water in 2012 and thus should not be used for sewage effluent dispersal.
- The only amenity for the development is a miniscule beach and seasonal dock. Current residents often drive the short distance to this beach and fill all the parking available along the highway, blocking public use. Increasing the population in this development will further exacerbate this problem. The license for the dock includes the stipulation that users do not park on the highway, which is routinely ignored.
- The dock and buoys are close to the mouth of the world famous Adams River. Sockeye fry spend the first few months of their lives in the bay near the mouth, which is the key salmon nursery area. Motorboat activity and potential fuel spills have the potential to harm these fish. The Ministry of Transport has only authorized 23 buoys and yet there are an additional unauthorized buoys there now. Since the rules have been broken, the CSRD should not approve these additional buoys.
- Access to the beach is problematic currently, as residents cross a busy highway near a dangerous curve in the road. The proposed solution by Bunt and Associates is poorly designed and would not work as residents would have to walk in a ditch, that is filled with water during the freshet, and then would have to walk alongside the curve in the road on a narrow strip of land above a water course. There is not room for the 3 metre wide trail required.
- A better plan for the upper bench area would be to divide it into one-hectare lots, which would negate the need for more sewage treatment, as septic systems are allowed on large lots. There is also more demand for larger lots, where boomers can grow gardens and fruit trees.
- The Gateway development began despite strong opposition from the community because the CSRD had no zoning or land use plans in place at the time. Opposition remains, despite the CSRD’s revision of the official community plan that resulted in Lee Creek becoming a secondary settlement area.
- Residents at the development routinely break the rules. There is a covenant that states no vegetation should be removed and people should be excluded in the 1.1-hectare area designated as fish habitat. Yet, the grass is mowed and residents use the area for a trail to the beach. Only removable structures are allowed in the flood plain, yet park models are there along with other buildings. The dock is allowed only if people do not park their cars there, yet this rule is ignored. Why should the CSRD allow for more development when existing rules are not followed?
- There are fire safety concerns given that there is only one exit from the development, cabins would be located very close to each other and buildings are planned close to the adjacent forest.
10. The property is now zoned for one residence and thus, all the other residences there are non-conforming. Allowing the development to proceed would be akin to rewarding irresponsible, unsanctioned development and sends the message that it is ok if developers break the rules, as they will be allowed to proceed later anyway.
Given all these flaws with the proposed development, we urge you to reject the rezoning application.
Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.
Jim Cooperman, President
Shuswap Environmental Action Society
See the photos here: Reject Gateway’s development expansion