Last week there was a letter to the editor regarding the Jumbo development by Mayor Taft of Invermere. Unfortunately, the letter omits some important points for Elk Valley taxpayers. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the development, it is widely accepted that it will require huge land-use planning resources to process. First, the BC government and our MLA Bill Bennett are considering the use of a Mountain Resort Municipality for land use matters for a simple reason – we asked them to do this.
After discussion and consideration at the RDEK board, we recognised that our current planning resources would be overwhelmed with the processes required on a project of this magnitude. Secondly, if the RDEK had responsibility for land-use decisions around the proposed new resort, which is 60 kilometres west of Invermere, the taxpayers of the Elk Valley would be paying for a project without receiving a direct benefit. The Directors from the Elk Valley, including the Mayors and myself, did not support this approach. The province was responding to a request, which resulted from a majority of Directors from across the East Kootenays voting for the betterment of all residents, and I appreciate Bill Bennett’s continued efforts to ensure our voices are heard in Victoria.
Area A Director