RE: Galloway Lands Development Support Confirmation
I support the proposed conservation development of the Galloway Lands proposal by Handshake Holdings for the following reasons:
Trails and Public use forever
Approval of this proposal will ensure public access for recreation on the Galloway Lands. This proposal creates a plan for ongoing recreation, maintenance and operation of the trails that exist within the Galloway Lands, including Nordic skiing trails and biking and hiking trails, as well as opening the door for new trails to be developed.
Creating new park lands and protecting wildlife
The Handshake Holdings proposal results 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 Lizard Creek corridor. The corridor for Lizard Creek exceeds all regional and provincial requirements for setbacks from a water course 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.
Building jobs and community for the future
Approval of the Handshake Holdings proposal will create new jobs and investment in the Regional District. There will be an estimated 250 jobs, both direct and indirect, per year that result from the buildout of the project. In addition, there will be millions of new investments into the local economy for decades to come.
Approval of this proposal will create new tax revenue for the RDEK without requiring the investment of any capital from the RDEK itself. 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 rate payers.
The First Conservation Preserve in the Kootenays!
First Conservation Preserve in the Kootenays is crafted with the vision and objectives of the Elk Valley Official Community Plan. This enables the RDEK to fulfill the current designation of these lands as ‘Resort Expansion’ while remaining consistent with the RDEK’s stated objectives, including the preference for a Conservation Design development, maintaining rural character in the region, and the protection of key conservation areas.
The best plan for the land
The Handshake proposal 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.
Leaving Galloway with the status quo means that the lands are subject to alternatives that might not support or guarantee future public access to the trails or conservation design.