Ottawa pays $11 million to developer

K&L Land Partnership says the federal government had not detailed potential explosive risks on property

The federal government has handed over millions of dollars to a developer.

Documents indicate that Ottawa paid $11 million to settle a legal dispute with K&L Land Partnership, which sued the federal government over 1,349 acres above Kalamalka Lake containing explosives.

Aquilini Development and Construction, which owns K&L, is currently clearing the property south of Bench Row Road and west of Commonage Road to make sure any possible explosives are removed.

“That’s ongoing for some time,” said Kevin Clarke, with Vancouver-based Aquilini.

“It could be another year-and-a-half.”

Parts of the Greater Vernon area were used for explosives training during the Second World War.

K&L initiated the legal action in 2013 after purchasing the land from its previous owner in 2005 for $15 million.

At the time the court case was initiated, K&L stated that the Department of National Defence had not detailed the potential hazards related to explosives.

It’s not known when actual development of the K&L property could take place.

The lands are in the City of Vernon and they are designated largely rural/agricultural and zoned non-urban.

“The property owner has submitted an application to subdivide the property under the current applicable zoning provisions. The application proposes a bare land strata lot subdivision for single family dwellings,” said Dale Rintoul, the city’s manager of current planning.

On Tuesday, the city referred the subdivision application to utility companies and government agencies for review and comments.

A public hearing may not be required if the subdivision application doesn’t require rezoning approval or a bylaw variance.

“If the property owner’s proposed subdivision meets all of the applicable bylaws, policies and guidelines, then the subdivision would be approved subject to a list of conditions,” said Rintoul.

 

Because of a confidentiality agreement with K&L, DND would not comment about the settlement except to say, “The property in question was set aside as a range and training area during the Second World War. Although DND occupied the site beginning in July 1941, the site was not used extensively.”