Coldstream OCP updates cause concerns

Coldstream residents are speaking out over changes to their community

Coldstream residents are speaking out over changes to their community.

Updates to the Official Community Plan have sparked concerns, primarily over land use designation.

“It’s a real shock to me,” said Peter Pershin, whose property changes from future residential subject to ALR approval (a designation it had for 20 years) to agricultural.

Bob Weatherill was also disappointed to see some proposed changes to his property.

“This is just another level of bureaucracy that’s very expensive,” said Weatherill, as lawyers would need to be hired for any potential changes on the property.

Some of these changes are due to new features with the OCP. Land values are allocated to properties, including animal habitats, conservation zones and erosion areas.

“So when people are developing in those areas you want them to be aware of the erosion potential,” said Mike Reiley, Coldstream’s director of development services.

“We want to make sure that we are mitigating it, avoiding it.”

Meanwhile some other residents were hoping the new OCP would provide them with some relief.

Three Coldstream Creek Road residents had their land changed from residential to agricultural 16 years ago and have been struggling since to have it changed back.

“We believe that in the long run this will right the unjust decision made in 1999,” said Dave Pearce, one of the three landowners.

Despite a lack of farming capability on their steep properties, the change, said Pearce was made to accommodate a land use designation change for the Trintec development.

“The community development that the district was backing…” said Pearce, “has not proceeded.”

Due to the number of concerns raised with the OCP, Coldstream council is holding off on moving ahead with the plan.

“The public is just beginning to get engaged with the OCP process,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

Coun. Doug Dirk adds: “Once people start catching on we’ll get the response we wanted in the beginning.”

Open houses were recently hosted to gather public input and feedback on the OCP.

“Council and staff have been working on updating the OCP slightly over three years now,” said Reiley.

Other issues raised include horseback riding throughout the community, open space designation and impact of the pellet plant.