Some Cherryville residents are trying to sink plans for a vacation development at a golf course.
A group known as the Concerned Citizens Action Committee is opposed to the River Ridge RV and Golf Society selling 30 recreational vehicle sites at the River Ridge Golf Course on Highway 6.
“In 1974 and twice in 1997, floods covered most of the golf course and the river took our large swaths of land and huge trees washed away,” said Brian Jones, committee spokesperson.
“People’s concerns are sewage effluent, not just finding its way to the river where some families have wells next to the river bank, but to adjoining properties who have shallow wells where underground streams could carry effluent into their drinking water.”
Among the other concerns are the loss of views, traffic and noise for neighbouring properties.
Jones questions the process that has been followed.
“The first time the general public knew about this proposal was at the farmers market and posters at Frank’s Store in August,” he said.
“At this time, sites are being sold and money collected without any permits being issued by the regional district, Interior Health or the Ministry of Transportation.”
The Regional District of North Okanagan indicates that an RV park meets the current commercial zone for the site but a development permit is needed. No permit application has been submitted.
“When an application is made, all agencies will look at the proposal,” said Eugene Foisy, Cherryville director.
A permit would require the applicant to provide protection of the environment and protection of the development from conditions like flooding.
RDNO officials state they have been monitoring the situation and there have been no bylaw contraventions such as buildings or earthworks.
The society defends its plans for an RV development.
“We’ve tried to fulfill our obligations to the community in preserving the river,” said Kox Hambley, development manager.
“We will comply with every rule and there will be an engineered sewer system which is the best we can do.”
Hambley says an evacuation plan will also be initiated in case of flooding, and he has tried to answer questions coming from residents.
“I made myself available at the farmers market with information.”
A recent event indicated that there are some people interested in purchasing lots.
“We want to offer it locally first before going to full-scale marketing in B.C. and Alberta,” said Hambley, adding that the project will support the economy.
“We’re trying to provide local employment. We’ll be good for the community.”