Handshake Holdings is pleased to announce a commitment to connecting the Galloway Lands homes to a wastewater collection and treatment facility to handle all wastewater from the development and a fire flow system designed to provide the water flow required to suppress a fire.
As a result of ongoing planning and discussions the project can now proceed with one of two options. The first option is connecting to the Fernie Alpine Resort Utility Company facilities, conditioned on agreement between that company and Handshake Holdings, or alternatively, constructing a freestanding wastewater collection and treatment facility on the Galloway Lands.
The previous plan was for each home within the Galloway Lands having its own septic system that would comply with the BC Health Sewerage System Regulation. This would have been designed to ensure that public health is protected, including the protection of drinking water supplies and protection of the environment.
We are also committing to providing fire flow for fire suppression with hydrants at suitable locations throughout the development. The hydrant locations and system details will be determined by the appropriate experts. 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 Galloway Lands is a 74 home conservation preserve situated on 457 acres located beside Fernie Alpine Resort. The proposed design is a way forward that blends growth and development in the region with perpetual public access, fire smart planning, financial gain for the Regional District, and thorough environmental stewardship.
Handshake Holdings Ltd. has applied to the RDEK seeking zoning and OCP amendments to support its development of the Galloway Lands. The land is part of the Nelson family holdings, through Galloway Lumber Company Ltd., who has provided much of the land which is currently Fernie Alpine Resort and its related subdivisions.
The conservation preserve will result in the creation of 321 acres of new conservation lands with 236 acres being new park lands.. These new park lands will be zoned PG-2 (Parks and Recreation Zone) and protect the Lizard Creek corridor. The protection exceeds all regional and provincial requirements for water course setbacks and will ensure the ongoing protection of Lizard Creek through the Galloway Lands. With 70% of the land being preserved, wildlife will be free to roam.
The Parks and Recreation zoned lands will abut Mt. Fernie Provincial Park creating a network of park lands that protect habitat while enhancing opportunities for recreation. Approval of this conservation preserve increases protected areas within the Elk Valley.
Approval of the Galloway Lands will ensure public access on the property forever. The conservation design creates a plan for ongoing year-round recreation, maintenance and operation of the trails on the property. This includes Nordic ski trails, mountain biking and hiking trails, as well as opening the door for new trails to be developed including active transportation and inclusive trails.
Approval of the Handshake Holdings proposal will create new jobs and investment in the Regional District. It is estimated that there will be 250 new jobs created, both direct and indirect, per year that result from the buildout of the project. In addition, there will be millions in new investments into the local economy for decades to come.
This development will create new tax revenue for the RDEK without requiring the investment of any capital from the RDEK. This will help to grow the tax base of the RDEK which is an important part of keeping the tax burden from growing for existing residents. Handshake Holdings community preserve is crafted with the vision and objectives of the Elk Valley Official Community Plan. This proposal enables the RDEK to fulfill the current designation of these lands as ‘Resort Expansion’ while remaining consistent with many of the RDEK’s stated objectives, including; the preference for a Conservation Design development, maintaining rural character in the region, the enhancement of recreation opportunities and the protection of conservation areas.