The Galloway Lands development proponent has announced new plans for wastewater management and fire suppression, two major points of contention among critics and opponents of the project.
In a May 6 press release from the proponent, it states that Handshake Holdings, the company of developer Reto Barrington, is committing to connecting the development’s up to 75 homesites to a wastewater collection and treatment facility to deal with all wastewater from the sites.
A previous iteration of the plan was that each home would have its own septic system. That was a sticking point with critics and opponents who worried about nearby waterways like the Lizard Creek, groundwater health and slope stability.
According to Handshake Holdings, they have two options for wastewater: the first would be to connect to the Fernie Alpine Resort Utility Company facilities, and the second would be to build a ‘freestanding wastewater treatment facility’ on the Galloway Lands.
The release states that the previous plan for individual septic systems “remains viable and would comply with the BC Health Sewerage System Regulation.”
“However, the ability to utilize a communal system has been indicated as preferable and more consistent with regional goals for development.”
Regarding fire suppression, the proponent has committed to “providing fire flow for fire suppression with hydrants at suitable locations throughout the development.”
Fire safety was another major concern due to the perception that the issue had not been adequately addressed in the re-zoning application.
Locations of the hydrants and details of the system “will be determined by the appropriate experts and as a condition to subdivision.”
“The fire flow suppression may be achievable by connecting to the water supply from Fernie Alpine Resort Utility Company, or alternatively, from a system to be constructed on the Galloway Lands.”
The development proposal is slated to be considered again by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) on May 12 and 13.
In January, the RDEK’s board of directors sent the proponent back to the drawing board to provide more information on key issues, including water and septic systems, fire safety, traffic and environmental conservation.