The attempt to rezone a property has dried up after community concerns about potential water shortages and declining road conditions at Spallumcheen council Monday.
Glen Hardy and Cindy Stout own property on Salmon River Road and Sharp Road, and were denied an application for rezoning due to issues raised about the water in surrounding wells.
“The extrapolation and a lot of the techniques the hydrologists used are not an exact science,” said Coun. Todd York. “So there are two things I’m looking at. The hydrologists report suggests that there is enough, and then real life information. It is sort of a crapshoot to drill down and get a fracture for some water.”
Hardy was looking to subdivide his lot into three 1.82 hectare lots. The new subdivision would require drilling two new wells.
“The precedent was set with previous subdivisions in the area. At some point, all of the land we live on was subdivided,” said Hardy.
Hardy and Stout were asked by the township to come out with a hydrogeological assessment pertaining to the rezoning application.
The assessment determined that there is sufficient groundwater resources in the area to support the proposed rezoning.
However, surrounding residents are concerned about their well water being affected by further drilling into the bedrock.
“The amount of available water will not be sufficient and there are no gains for the neighbouring land,” said nieghbour Michael Thomas.
Residents are also concerned about the decaying conditions of Sharp Road.
One resident stated in the public hearing that the road is poorly graded, it is very dusty and it is easy to hydroplane when it gets wet. There are concerns that more properties will bring more traffic onto the inferior road.
“I have confidence in the science and I trust the pros that conducted the hydrolysis report,” said Coun. Andrew Casson. “Approving the rezoning applies pressure for Sharp Road improvements.”
Before the final decision, York added: “When you increase the density of a property, it requires a start from the beginning. It seems more appropriate to be a country residential application and not a small holding application. Too many small properties can erode the neighbourhood. I think one more well is pushing the envelope, I trust the hydrology report for one, but not two.”