OCP up for discussion

Harrison Hot Springs looks at rezoning piece of resource land

A public hearing will precede the regular Harrison council meeting on Monday night, in order to hear concerns of a drafted amendment to the Official Community Plan.

The amendment seeks to add wording to the section of the OCP bylaw that deals with resource lands. It also includes a map amendment, changing an 8-acre parcel of resource land to low density residential.

The wording to be added, as Section 8.3.6 is: “Resource land designations will be reviewed and amended to respond to current information or changing conditions.”

The land in question is the narrow strip that runs along the east side of Rockwell Drive. It is currently on the OCP’s future use designation map as resource land, and is owned by Kingma Bros. Development.

“This (OCP change) affects a very singular title,” said Ryan Anderson, a development consultant for Kingma. “It has no effect on the rest of the land… This is very specific to a very obscure piece of the Village.”

In 2009, Kingma purchased a large title of land that includes various properties throughout the Village, including the parcel to be discussed on Monday.

“We are just trying to rezone that property,” Anderson said, in order to subdivide that portion off of the larger title. He couldn’t speak to what would be built on the land, most of which is steep and described in the OCP as “potentially unstable mountain slopes.”

But he said the intent is to see what could be developed on the site.

“We’re going to have to take a look at the situation to see what’s going in there,” Anderson said. But he added that development is needed in small communities, in order to help pay for infrastructure.

“Development is what pays for everything in the city,” he said, including roads, water, sidewalks and so on.

He added that anyone with concerns leading up to the public hearing, 7 p.m. on Monday, is welcome to contact him through email at ryan@otgdevelopments.com or by phone at 604-217-7953.

Earlier this week, Ian Crane, manager of development services for Harrison, confirmed that the bylaw amendments are site specific. He said the size of the property would allow for about three homes.

While the land seems steep from the road below, he said there is a bluff that homes could be built on.

“It’s difficult to access,” he said, “but anything is possible engineering wise.”

There are currently five policies surrounding resource land in the OCP. Of those, it states that areas that are difficult to develop will be designated resource on the future land use map.  It also permits for uses such as parks and public facilities, recreation facilities, agriculture and single family dwellings (one per parcel.)

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