Special to The Valley Echo
With the Canfor mill closing date of November 9th looming, the Village of Canal Flats turned its attention towards rezoning efforts at its council meeting on Tuesday, October 13th.
With three large industrial parcels of land owned by Canfor on the southern side of the village, councillors passed a motion to ensure that rezoning recommendations be added to an economic planning report several months in the making (which predates the mill closure announcement).
The upcoming first reading of a rezoning bylaw will now include a lengthy report that will help the village decide if and how to re-classify land that’s now zoned as heavy industrial, light industrial and commercial. Of particular interest is a now-empty log yard that is a frontage parcel near Highway 93/95.
Were that land to be sold, given or otherwise made available to the village in the future, councillors believe a non-specific “comprehensive development” zoning would best attract new development to the area.
“If we have it open like that, we’re inviting entrepreneurship to the village,” said Coun. Marie Delorme, who noted the importance of weighing the pros and cons of going with a development zone, even if it means a longer wait time on the planning report.
Chief administrative officer Brian Woodward noted the village’s municipal golf course already has the “comprehensive development” zoning, allowing it to be re-developed in multiple ways.
“It would probably be in our interest to zone all of the Canfor lands as something that says ‘for development’,” he said.
If, for example, someone bought part of the land near the highway and wished to build a hotel, that zoning would give them an idea what council’s wishes are, he explained.
Coun. Karl Sterzer noted it would be wise to consider an expedited process to help any potential buyers subdivide properties more easily. That could involve lessening the requirements for studies, such as an environmental impact assessment, that are normally required when subdividing a property.
Eagles Nest water set to flow
Clean, drinkable water should be flowing to homes in the village’s Eagle’s Nest neighbourhood by November 28th, after a lengthy construction period punctuated by several delays.
Coun. Paul Marcil, who chairs the village’s Water System Upgrade Committee, told council that a completion schedule for the project, including installation of a generator, has been obtained and indicates all construction will be done before November 24th. Work on a booster station and water lines will continue this month.
With one day left before late payment penalties would kick in, council approved issuing payment 10 ($159,558 for work completed in August) to water system builder Dawson Construction.
The new water system will be shut down from October 19th through 21st in order to flow a high concentration of chlorine through the taps prior to official approval for the system. (The high-chlorine flow was initially scheduled for the August long weekend, but delayed in order to wait for a time when fewer part-time residents would be affected.)
Coun. Marcil stressed that people need to be made aware that the water will not be potable and will likely harm houseplants. About 30 people are likely to be affected.
Delays on the project were caused in part by low water flows this summer and by the discovery of a potentially significant archeological site, which was subject to further investigation before work could continue.
The new water system involves a modern reservoir in the village’s downtown core (which replaces an older wooden reservoir at the higher elevation Eagle’s Nest neighbourhood) and a 3.2-kilometre pipeline to transport the water to the new development.