Ridgemont trail network closed to public

On January 10, 2020, the Fernie Trails Alliance issued a press release regarding trail work in the Ridgemont area. Five days later, they issued a second press release on their website. The original press release can be viewed below.

On January 21, 2020, Parastone Developments Ltd. released their own press release in response to the information shared by the Fernie Trails Alliance. Parastone manages the land in question, which is owned by Ridgemont Holdings Ltd. This press release can also be seen below.

FTA bows out from managing Ridgemont

January 10, 2020 – We regret to inform trail users that effective immediately, the FTA will no longer have any involvement in managing the Ridgemont trail network.

WHAT? In good faith, the FTA has been involved in managing trails on Ridgemont property for a number of years, even though there has never being a land-use agreement in place with the Landowner. Despite the FTA making numerous and persistent efforts to get a land-use agreement in place, Ridgemont Landowners have declined to enter into any formal agreement with the FTA.

WHY? In fall of 2019, an honest mistake was made by the FTA’s hardworking volunteers in building a connector to the Space Unicorns Trail. This new connector was to be only on City of Fernie property, to provide easy access to this kid and family friendly trail. The mistake unfortunately resulted in a possible encroachment on the Ridgemont lands, which was unintentional. The FTA notified the Land Manager very soon after learning of this possible error, taking steps to immediately remedy the incorrect work and decommission said trail segment.

On January 7th 2020, the FTA received a response from the Land Manager regarding the above. Unfortunately, the demands made by the Land Manager to the FTA to rectify the mistake are not attainable for a charitable organization run by volunteers. Furthermore, the FTA believes the demands are disproportionate to the mistake that was made.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? While the FTA will remain open to discussions and future negotiations of a land-use agreement for this area, effective immediately, the FTA are unable to continue their management of, or dedicate their charitable resources to, the Ridgemont trail area.

QUESTIONS? For more information regarding the Ridgemont property and what this means for Public use, please contact their Land Manager direct – Parastone Developments (http://parastone.ca).

We will continue to update our website with further information as it arises.

Parastone responds to Fernie Trails Alliance comments

FERNIE, B.C., January 21, 2020 – In the fall of 2019 a new trail was constructed on City of Fernie lands, adjacent to “Space Unicorn”. The City of Fernie provided authorization to build the trail by hand construction. Unfortunately, the construction of the trail encroached 160 metres onto private land owned by Ridgemont Holdings and was constructed using an excavator into an area identified in the official Community Plan (Schedule J: Slope Hazards) as a steep slopes hazardous area. As a result, Ridgemont Holdings instructed Parastone to immediately restrict access to Ridgemont trails.

“Parastone understands the frustration felt by trail users,” said Simon Howse, General Manager, Parastone. “However, this is the fourth unauthorized activity since 2017 and therefore the owner, Ridgemont Holdings, felt justified with their actions.”

“We also recognize the value the various trail networks bring to Fernie residents and visitors. Parastone has constructed and supported many kilometres of multi-use, bike and cross-country skiing trails and will continue to do so. Our goal is to resolve this matter as soon as possible and work toward rebuilding the relationship between Ridgemont Holdings and the FTA.”

Parastone has outlined to the FTA the necessary remediation work required by the owner, Ridgemont Holdings. Details of the request include that the FTA work with an approved third-party contractor and B.C. licensed Geotechnical Engineer to remediate all work.

“We are hopeful that we can reach a resolution and remediation can be completed in order to reinstate public access to Ridgemont Holdings’ private lands,” added Howse.

About Ridgemont Holdings LTD

Ridgemont Holdings LTD is a holding company owned and operated by the Pollyco Group of Companies. Pollyco is a residential and commercial development company formed in 1993, with offices throughout western Canada. Pollyco is currently working on over 5,000 acres of residential, commercial and mixed-use development properties in B.C. and Alberta, including town centres, shopping malls, hotels, apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes.

In 2017, Pollyco engaged Parastone to be their community liaison and manage their local Fernie interests.

About Parastone Developments LTD

Parastone Developments LTD is part of the Parastone Team of companies located in Fernie, B.C. As a landmark construction and development company, Parastone has been responsible for many iconic projects in the Elk Valley including 901 Fernie, Veneto Place, Fairview Apartments, Whitewood Apartments, Cherrywood Homes, Fernie, Sparwood and Kimberley Splash Parks, The Central, The Fernie Hotel and Pub and more recently, Montane.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Steven Szelei

sales@parastone.ca

250-423-8559



editor@thefreepress.ca

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