A group of property owners has been given permission by the Regional District to build up to eight homes near Coalmont.
RDOS directors approved a rezoning application from Granite Creek Quad Ranch at a recent meeting, despite staff concerns about the proposal.
“It was a really good solution to a difficult problem,” said Area H director Bob Coyne, noting the applicants have been working on the plan for at least six years.
Throughout a public consultation period “we got a number of letters from people in Coalmont who were supportive. We didn’t get anything negative.”
In an application to the district Jose Messner described himself and his brother Pedro as the fourth generation of the family who owns approximately 160 acres of land at 1500 Blakeburn Rd.
The pair has attracted several partners in the running of Granite Creek Quad Ranch, who will now be able to build their own homes on the property.
“Granite Creek Quad Ranch now has eight owners and we have built a lodge to house groups for hiking, quad and snowmobile guided tours. The intent of this camp is to allow ourselves and many others to enjoy this property and the beautiful nature, in the ways my family always has.”
Currently the ranch has a lodge for guests, and a one-bedroom cabin.
Messner described the success of the camp venture as so far “mixed….Due to the size constraints of the single lodge and cabin, the mix of owners have had to take turns guiding for the camp. The owners’ desire is to continue operating the camp, but in order to better facilitate that dream they would like to build their own personal residences on the property in the vicinity of the lodge.”
According to Coyne, the “spot” zoning approval allows the owners to build without going through the process of creating a subdivision.
A subdivision would require cost prohibitive improvements to Blakeburn Road, he explained.
A staff report to the board states: “Administration has significant concerns with ‘shared ownership’ developments and the issues raised by not undertaking subdivision (and associated infrastructure improvements) for new residential development.”
Coyne said he anticipates the development will inject at least $2 million into the area’s economy.
“To me that’s a pretty significant investment in the community. These are people who are going to do it right.”
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