Monday, August 13, 2012

Lakeridge at Lac Le Jeune Q&A

Gregg Lindros prepared this Lakeridge Project Q&A to address the most common questions asked by local residents. He will also provide a brief update at the Lac Le Jeune Conservation Association AGM Saturday, 18 August.  If anyone has other questions or would like more details, Gregg will be available one hour before and after the AGM at the lodge meeting room, or by telephone (numbers listed below).

Lakeridge at Lac Le Jeune Q&A – August 13, 2012

This question and answer piece has been prepared with the intent of bringing everyone in the Lac Le Jeune community up to date with the Lakeridge development project.

1. Ownership and Development Planning

(a) Who owns the property?

Derick MacDonald, owner and operator of Lac Le Jeune Resort and Conference Centre, and 30 year resident of Lac Le Jeune is the property owner. Cressida Holdings Ltd. (CH) is the business entity owned by Mr. MacDonald that the property is registered under.

(b) Who is leading the property rezoning?

Derick MacDonald is being assisted by Gregg Lindros, a land planning, design and development consultant, who is a 23 year resident of Lac Le Jeune. Gregg has over 30 years experience assisting municipalities, regional districts, the province, developers, and First Nations with a wide variety of development work. Gregg co-authored the TNRD Lakeshore Development Guidelines which provide land development policy that has been incorporated into the Lakeridge plan.

2. Property and Zoning

(a) How big is the property?

Approximately 162 hectares or 400 acres.

(b) What was the previous use?

The Lac Le Jeune Ski Ranch operated from 1947 to 1992, offering both downhill and cross country skiing and a day lodge facility. At its peak the ski area would attract upwards of 2000 people on event winter weekends and several hundred on a regular weekend basis.

(c) What is the property currently used for?

Although private property, hiking, tobogganing, and other low impact recreation use by the neighbourhood has not been restricted. Off road vehicles including dirt bikes, quads, and snowmobiles have consistently trespassed the property over the years, regardless of fencing and signage intended to restrict access.

(d) What is the existing zoning?

The property is currently zoned AF-1 (Agricultural/Forestry) which, in addition to various agricultural and forestry uses, permits single family dwellings on lots with a minimum size of eight hectares. Other permitted uses not requiring rezoning include poultry, swine, or cattle operations, sand and gravel operations, harvesting and processing of all on-site timber excluding riparian areas.

(e) What is the proposed zoning?

The proposed zoning to accommodate the Lakeridge development is LR-1 (Lakeshore Residential Single Family) with site specific amendments setting out the maximum number of lots and dwelling units. The community park and conservation area is proposed as being rezoned to P-1 (Recreation) which accommodates the proposed facilities for the community park and passive recreation uses for the conservation lands.

(f) What is the history of the Lakeridge rezoning process?

The property has been in holding since the ski hill facility closed in 1992. Rather than sell the property to outside parties who would use the lands for permitted uses or rezone for other forms of recreational, residential, or resort development, the goal is to develop the lands in a manner that is considered both compatible and beneficial to the Lac Le Jeune community in comparison to alternative development plans that could unfold.

The first rezoning application and report was submitted to the TNRD in September 2008. In response to review agency input, a revised application and engineering report was submitted in August 2010 that incorporated a new, independent, groundwater source community water system to service the development. In May, 2011, a third revision to the application and accompanying engineering report was submitted in response to further review agency input that encouraged amalgamation with the Ridgemont water system. First reading of the rezoning application with the new TNRD Zoning Bylaw No. 2400 on June 14, 2012 received unanimous approval from the TNRD Board of Directors.

3. Residential Development

(a) What is Lakeridge?

Lakeridge is a single family rural infill residential development project that includes a dedication of  43% of the property for public community park and conservation area.

(b) What is the type of residential land tenure?

The residential lots would be sold and owned on a fee simple basis, same as the adjoining Ridgemont subdivision.

(c) How many homes would be built?

The zoning permits a maximum of 45 single family lots with one home per lot with the exception of four of the larger lots which would be permitted to have a free standing, secondary dwelling unit in addition to the primary residence.

(d) How big are the lots?

Excluding a 57.8 hectare/142.9 acre single family mountainside lot, the average lot size is .75 hectares/1.8 acres. The minimum lot size is .45 hectares/1.1 acres and the largest lot, excluding the mountainside lot, is 2.7 hectares/6.7 acres.

(e) How much area would housing occupy?

Including the single family mountainside lot, approximately 89 hectares/219 aces, representing 55% of the overall property area, would be utilized for residential use. Not factoring in the mountainside lot, 19.2% of the area would be used for housing.

(f) Is lake access provided?

Crown land separates the Lakeridge housing from Little Lake the same as is separates Ridgemont from Lac Le Jeune. Just as for all Lac Le Jeune residents, the Provincial Park is available for boat launching and swimming.

(g) What kind of homes would be built?

Lakeridge is envisioned as a collection of high quality rural resort homes. Mobile homes would not be permitted. Home and site design would be governed by mandatory design guidelines.

(h) How much would the lots and homes cost?

It’s expected that most lots would range between $200,000. and $300,000. Home construction costs are expected to be in the $350,000. to $500,000. range.

(i) When would lots be available for sale?

Lot sales would commence as soon as subdivision approval is complete.

(j) How long would it take for the project to be built-out?

We expect that lot sales would occur over a ten year period. Completion of all home construction could take up to 25 or more years where lots are purchased as investment or retirement property. For comparison, the Ridgemont subdivision is still not built out after 35 plus years.

(k) How would homes be marketed and to who?

A tier one marketing and sales company specializing in resort properties would lead an advertising and on-line marketing campaign attracting potential buyers to the area to view lots and surrounding area. The majority of buyers are expected to be from Kamloops and the lower mainland.

4. Community Park and Conservation Area

(a) What is the size and location of the park and conservation area?

The conservation area is approximately 65.8 hectares/162.6 acres and includes the land from the old ski lift west to the property boundary.

The community park is approximately 3.5 heactare/8.6 acres and is located between Lac Le Jeune Rd and the base of the ski hill.

Together the park and conservation area represent 43% of the total property.

(b) What is the purpose of the park and conservation area?

The province requires that the development include a minimum 5% dedication of public park space. Lakeridge includes a 43% dedication.

The community park component is intended to create a community focal point that offers all Lac Le Jeune residents with facilities for outdoor recreation and social events. Community park facilities would include a picnic shelter and outdoor skating rink. Other permitted uses include a horse boarding stable and riding ring that would be accessible by all Lac Le Jeune residents.

The conservation area component would be retained in its natural condition and permit passive outdoor recreation uses such as walking, hiking, snowshoeing, tobogganing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The conservation area would provide non-vehicular access to Crown lands south of the property including Ridge and Mildred Lake.

(c) Who pays for the park and conservation area?

Site improvements (including building demolition and clean-up of fill and debris local residents were permitted to dump), and community park facilities including the picnic shelter and outdoor rink, would be paid for and constructed by the developer. In addition, a one-time $50,000. contribution by the developer towards an operation and development reserve fund, accessible by the operating organization, would also be provided.

(d) Who owns the park and conservation area?

Ownership would be transferred to the TNRD with the possible exception of lands occupied by a potential horse riding facility. Ownership and operation details of a riding facility have not been finalized.

(e) Who operates the park and conservation area?

If the LLJCA wishes, it would be the operation and maintenance entity. If LLJCA is not interested, a new non-profit would be formed specifically for the purpose of park operation and maintenance. Either way, there would be an operating agreement with the TNRD.

(f) When would the park and conservation area be created?

The land dedication and transfer to the TNRD would be concurrent with the registration of the subdivision plan. Park facilities funded by the developer would be constructed during the early part of phase one of the project and anticipated to be completed within one year of construction start-up.

5. Environmentals

(a) Would lake water quality be affected?

CH commissioned an environment assessment in July 2008 as well as a Water Quality Analysis in February 2012. Both of these studies, completed by Don Holmes, president of Lakeshore Environmental Ltd. and a registered biologist, concluded that the development would not be harmful to the lake water quality and that the subdivision should be allowed subject to conditions that have been adopted into the development plans. Don Holmes was the former section head of  B.C. Water Stewardship in Kamloops and board member of the B.C. Lake Stewardship Society.

Mr. Holmes stated in his 2012 report “I still consider the conclusions of the 2008 Environmental Assessment Report valid and do not believe that construction of this development will be harmful to lake water quality.”

(b) How would sewage be disposed of?

Each lot would be serviced by on-site sewage disposal systems that must meet Interior Health standards. Lakeridge would be utilizing new and proven septic field treatment technology considered to be superior to typical field construction and highly suitable for applications near lakes. Installation of this system type would be a condition for lot purchase. Brent Dennis, P.Eng., is the Canadian representative for the preferred treatment system product, president of BWD Engineering Inc., as well as president of the Western Canada Onsite Wastewater Management Association.

(c) How much tree clearing would occur?

Tree clearing would be permitted as needed for roads and utility constructions, as well as on residential lots to create building sites and yard areas. The overall intent would be to minimize the extent of tree removal and design guidelines would be applied to this affect.

(d) Would the night sky be affected?

Lakeridge would not incorporate street lights.

(e) Are there lakefront lots?

Of the 45 lots in the development there are eleven that back or front onto Crown land that is adjacent to Little Lake. The buffer depth varies from 40 to 200 meters. There are no lots directly fronting onto Little Lake.

(f) How much of the development would be visible outside the property?

The lots below the ski hill would be screened from view by a tree buffer adjacent to Lac Le Jeune Rd and Crown land adjacent to Little Lake. Some of the homes on the hillside lots would be visible when coming down the hill approaching Lac Le Jeune, similar to some existing homes in Ridgemont that can be seen from a distance on the north side of Lac Le Jeune.

6. Water Supply

(a) How would water be provided?

The use of lake water, groundwater, or a blending of both as a water source has not been finalized. A community water system would be provided, either by way of  a new, independent, groundwater source utility or an expansion of the Ridgemont subdivision water system. Interior Health and the TNRD have stated they would support either option. The Provincial Utility Regulation Section has the ultimate decision making authority as to which one of these two options will be approved. Our preference is a new, independent, groundwater source system.

(b) Is there sufficient water source?

The source for a new, independent, groundwater source is a tested well that has excellent capacity. Interior Health would need to approve the well as a drinking water source. Testing of both quantity and quality are very favorable.

An expansion/amalgamation with the Ridgemont Estates Water Users Society (REWUS) would involve utilizing lake source water made available by an amended REWUS water license. Water Stewardship, who is responsible for lake water allocation, has been presented with the amalgamation concept and has conveyed their initial support for using the existing or adjusted REWUS license to service Lakeridge.

(c) What is the status of a decision on water supply?

The Provincial Utility Regulation Section has been requested by the TNRD to provide an opinion to indicate certainty as to whether a new, independent, groundwater source community system or amalgamation with REWUS will be approved. We expect an opinion from Utility Regulation in August, 2012.

7. Community Benefits

(a) What are the benefits of the Lakeridge development for the community?

Land use certainty would be provided with the Lakeridge development as proposed. The ski hill property will ultimately be developed in some form. If developed by others, existing zoning permits a range of uses that may be far less compatible and beneficial for the neighbourhood than the Lakeridge proposal. Other owners/developers may also pursue rezoning for another form of residential use (ie. gated single family strata) and/or private resort development (ie. year round accommodation marketed as an off road recreation base camp).

Land use compatibility would be provided. The Lakeridge proposal is considered by the proponent as a modestly scaled rural infill project and a good fit with the existing community. Lakeridge lot size, buffering of views to existing residences, quality of homes, community park facilities and a significant conservation area all contribute to a residential development proposal that would mesh well in the natural environment and neighbourhood setting. The proposal is consistent with TNRD policy as set out in the Regional Growth Strategy.

Home values would be strengthened and property exposure  increased. Lakeridge lots and homes, with anticipated pricing in the $550,000. to $800,000. range will help to maximize the value of existing Lac Le Jeune homes. Also, any existing homes that are for sale will receive additional exposure as a result of Lakeridge marketing.

A community park and conservation area would be created. Lac Le Jeune has grown in scale and demographically to the point where a community park would be well used by kids and active adults. The conservation area protects the face of the ski hill and maintains non vehicular public access to the ridge above.

A fire cache would be provided to the LLJCA. The community park would include a storage building with equipment and hand tools for use by local residents. Basic equipment consisting of a mobile water tank, pump, and hoses would be securely stored. This equipment would be well suited as a precaution at controlled burns as there have been several “run-away” burns in recent years on residential lots.

Who do I contact for more information?

Gregg Lindros
W 250-374-0824
C  250-318-2964

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