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Pemberton boundary expansion bounced back to province

Some areas uncertain about becoming part of Village of Pemberton

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Pemberton's boundary expansion looks to be moving forward again as council voted Tuesday night to send its application to the province for further review.

The application seeks to expand the Village of Pemberton's boundaries into 20 new areas include the Ravens Crest property, which is planned for a housing development and an independent private school; the Rutherford Creek Power Plant, south of Pemberton on Highway 99; and various properties along Airport Road.

A report to council from Village Administrator Daniel Sailland set out three motions to consider.

First, council was asked to leave a $40,000 amenity fee from the Rutherford power plant with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District; second, to provide transitional payments to the regional district to help mitigate the financial impact that expansion will have; and third, to petition the Ministry of Community and Rural Development for the expansion.

"There are three motions in here and two of those three motions are for clarity," Sailland told council. "They were outstanding points that the ministry wanted clarified as such because they had to reflect a position from council. I opted to put them in as a motion so they could be as clear as we possibly could make it."

The first two motions carried unanimously. The third had one opposing voter in Councillor Susie Gimse, who asked whether all the properties subject to the extension had agreed to it.

Sailland told her that in some areas of the expansion there was "complete endorsement," in others there was only 50 per cent approval.

The expansion essentially cedes the properties to the Village of Pemberton. They currently lie within Area C of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and their property taxes go to the province. Once incorporated, they'll go to Pemberton.

The expansion also gives the Village of Pemberton authority to make land use decisions about those properties. That could be particularly advantageous for the Sunstone Ridge group, which has tried mightily to put together terms of reference for development of a neighbourhood on the Ravens Crest, Sabre/Biro and Lil'wat lands located in Pemberton's Hillside area.

The group, which represents all these properties and is also responsible for the GEMS school, has repeatedly approached the SLRD with a proposal but the board has consistently resisted.

Sunstone Ridge has since given up trying to move their development forward at the SLRD level.

They've asked that zoning for the GEMS school be withheld by the regional district so that it can be moved in parallel with their application for their development, a recreational and residential neighbourhood covering 400 hectares with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, commercial property and a recreational complex.

Other items at the meeting saw Gimse try to issue a correction to the minutes from the Sept. 21 council meeting. She said she was noted as being the only one who voted against reimbursing Mayor Jordan Sturdy and Administrator Daniel Sailland for their travel costs on a trip to London to meet with Pemberton Festival organizer Shane Bourbonnais.

Gimse said at the Tuesday meeting that she wasn't the only one who voted against reimbursing them and brought a motion forward to correct the minutes. No one else on council spoke up to support her and the motion was defeated.

 

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