Cherryville opting out of bylaw

One North Okanagan community is backing out of rules that would force new development to prove they have water.

One North Okanagan community is backing out of rules that would force new development to prove they have water.

Cherryville director Eugene Foisy says his area will opt out of the proposed subdivision servicing bylaw for rural areas when it comes to minimum required production capacity for private water wells.

“A hydrology study (for a new development) is very expensive but others who have a subdivision lot already can suck your well dry,” he said of any rules not applying to existing residents.

“There is no control over what happens. What we have in place won’t protect them (new residents).”

The subdivision servicing bylaw proposes that required well production in Cherryville must be 2,273 litres a day. Levels would also be set for rural Lumby, BX-Silver Star, BX-Swan Lake and rural Enderby.

“A four-person household would use, on average, 2,700 litres of water per day for indoor and outdoor purposes,” said Marnie Skobalski, Regional District of North Okanagan planner, in the report.

“Landowners in Area E with wells producing only 2,273 litres a day may need to be more conservative with their water usage in order to have sufficient water for all the indoor and outdoor purposes currently enjoyed by the average Okanagan resident.”

But Foisy says that unless there is a limit on water use for all residents, then forcing new development to conduct hydrology studies is unrealistic.

“Why spend money on something that won’t benefit constituents?”

Foisy hopes the provincial government will initiate groundwater legislation that clarifies the situation.

However, BX-Swan Lake director Bob Fleming stands by the proposed rules because of an ongoing lack of water in the Keddleston area of the BX.

“There are some serious concerns about water,” he said.