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Developers want to be included in VoP boundary expansion

Access to village services key to developments

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Representatives from three new development projects in the Pemberton area have asked to be included in the Village of Pemberton’s plans to expand municipal boundaries.

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy said the VoP completed an expansion about a year ago and council is currently starting to map out the areas they would like to have included in the next expansion. He estimates the last expansion process took about four years to complete.

Once VoP staff establish the areas they are interested in including in the expansion, Sturdy said they will present the plan to members of the public for feedback and recommendations. Afterwards, the application will be submitted to the Ministry of Community Services for approval.

Sturdy said the developers who came forward at last week’s council meeting are asking for their land to be included within village boundaries so they will have access to services, like water and sewage.

“The village’s policy is we will not supply services to areas outside of the village boundaries,” said Sturdy.

In return, Sturdy said, they would be paying taxes to the village, and the Village of Pemberton would have some control over their development plans.

Drew Meredith also sent a letter to council, asking that his home be included in the boundary extension. He explained that because of where his property is situated, it made sense for him to join the developers in requesting their area be included in the next boundary extension.

For his own purposes, Meredith acknowledged that being included in the village would mean he may benefit from services in the future, but said the main reason he consented was because the other developers need these services to make their developments viable.

“The Regional District doesn’t have the infrastructure or capacity to deal with their needs, and the village needs to have a bigger tax base,” explained Meredith.

At last week’s meeting Sturdy emphasized that council expects to see a master plan before they will approve the developers’ requests to become part of the village.

Councillors referred the boundary expansion issue to staff, and plan to discuss the matter further at their Oct. 2 meeting.

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