The location of the land that would be re-zoned for a future school in Fernie. (Source: Google maps)

City of Fernie gives thumbs-up to re-zone land for future school

The land is within the Castle Mountain neighbourhood

City of Fernie councillors have voted to approve a proposal to re-zone land for a future middle school site.

The lot at 15 and 40 Whitetail Drive and 30 and 50 Cokato Road passed third reading to be re-zoned to P1 – Public Institutional Zone to accommodate a possible future school for the city after councillors unanimously voted to support a staff recommendation on Oct. 13.

Public submissions to the city on the zoning had been overwhelmingly positive, with eight out of nine written public submissions supporting the need for a new school to eventually be built, and only one submission challenging the location.

That submission raised concerns on walk-ability – with the re-zoned site located over 2km to the south of the two existing public schools within city limits in the Castle Mountain neighbourhood.

Nonetheless, city staff backed the location to the south of downtown and near the Montane developments as in line with the Official Community Plan (OFC).

“The possible locations of future school sites in Fernie are few once parkland, and hazard lands are accounted for,” reads the city staff report on the re-zoning.

“The subject lands are within a hazard area however, there are significant portions of the lands that are outside of these areas. One future benefit to the proposed zoning amendment and possibility for a future school is that the OCP identifies the Castle Mountain area for significant future growth.”

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