This photo shows a wetland area near Cokato Road and Montane Parkway. (File photo)

This photo shows a wetland area near Cokato Road and Montane Parkway. (File photo)

City, Montane Developments end legal dispute over wetlands development

A year and a half after the City of Fernie challenged Fernie developer Montane Developments over works carried out on company land, court proceedings between the two have been resolved.

In a release on October 14, City of Fernie officials say they have “reached a satisfactory resolution of the prosecution of Montane Development Ltd. with respect to its work on the Brewery Creek lands in 2020.”

In April last year the city began legal proceedings against Montane Developments following multiple complaints about work being carried out on Brewery Creek land on Cokato Rd and Montane Parkway, with residents raising concerns about the impact on wetlands and a beaver dam in the area. The city claimed that the company had failed to obtain the required permits before commencing work, and challenged the Fernie development company in court.

At the time it began legal proceedings, the city claimed that Montane Developments had not obtained a Watercourse Protection Development Permit. According to the city’s media release, Montane Developments applied for that permit in May 2020, the month following its initial legal actions.

When reached for comment, general manager of Parastone (Montane Developments’ parent company), Simon Howse said that he and the city were interested in proceeding with the development of the company’s lands in a responsible manner.

“The Montane team has always worked towards a carefully planned development in the Brewery Creek area that not only preserves but enhances the environmental values of the area,” he said.

“Montane and the City have agreed to move forward with an updated environmental development plan and permits that will get us there, and I am happy to have a clear path forward. The court proceedings have been resolved.

“The resolution of the previous dispute means that both parties can focus on environmental excellence and quality development work going forward, for the benefit of the community.”

The city’s media release reflected the same sentiments, saying that Montane Developments had made commitments to follow though with its permit applications.

“The City is satisfied that Montane will address all regulatory matters, including any that may be required by the Ministry of Environment, with respect to the Brewery Creek wetlands.”

According to the city, the company has also committed to seek and secure any required development permits before work begins on its lands going forward.

Parastone was issued with a $345 fine for disturbing beaver habitat by the Conservation Officer Service in July last year in response to the works carried out.

READ MORE: City of Fernie starts legal prosecution against Montane Developments Ltd.