Kingfisher gets planning process

Officials insist a new land use plan won’t deter development along Mabel Lake.

Officials insist a new land use plan won’t deter development along Mabel Lake.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board adopted the new local area plan for Kingfisher Wednesday.

“I hope it will alleviate some of the concerns multiplying over the years,” said Jackie Pearase, rural Enderby director.

Among the issues requiring attention for some residents are traffic, the condition of the Enderby-Mabel Lake Road, boat moorage and water and sewer.

However, during a recent public hearing, other residents petitioned for a tourism strategy and more land being opened up for new commercial development.

They also wanted Mabel Lake recognized as a resort community.

Laura Frank, RDNO’s sustainability co-ordinator, says there is no legal definition for a resort community and while new areas for development were identified they didn’t conform with the policies of the provincial Agricultural Land Commission.

“There are vacant lands that haven’t been developed yet,” she said of properties that already have approved land uses.

Frank believes the local area plan provides a balance between differing views in the community.

“The plan hasn’t made any changes to future land use designations,” she said.

The plan has 52 recommendations regarding the environment, peak season use/management, infrastructure, emergency planning, future land use, residential and commercial policies, and park land.

Pearase says the document provides a guide for the future.

“We’re not trying to stifle the resort from growing but we heard from the community, ‘Let’s work with what we have,’” she said.

“We’re not saying you can’t grow. We just want the area to grow sustainably.”

While the board adopted the plan, rural Lumby director Rick Fairbairn contends that the pro-resort concerns raised can’t be ignored.

“The term resort community from a development standpoint is a huge marketing tool,” he said.