Owners of 190 acres of land near Lang Creek are hoping Powell River Regional District will consider amending Electoral Area C’s official community plan to allow for development of a new rural neighbourhood south of town.
Sandstone Creek Properties applied to the regional district in August in order to amend the plan.
If the regional district’s planning committee agrees, the project would be one of the largest rural housing developments the regional district has seen in decades, said regional district manager of planning services Laura Roddan.
"It's the biggest application in years for the size of the property, the size of the proposed subdivision and the whole concept and greenspace,” said Roddan.
Tim Peters, one of five partners involved with Sandstone, said it would be premature to comment on the development before the official community plan re-designation is complete, but based on the concept, he estimates the development could create up to 75 lots with sizes ranging between one and three acres.
“It's exciting for us,” said Peters.
Sandstone is looking for the regional district to re-designate land use of the area south of Highway 101 from industrial to suburban residential, with portions set out for parks, greenspace and commercial.
On the north side of the highway, proponents are asking the regional district to re-designate the land from rural residential to low-density residential, with portions set out for institutional, parks and greenspace.
The oceanside portion of the land designated for industrial had been the site of a sawmill and log sort previously, but has sat vacant for many years, said Roddan.
The concept currently includes a five-kilometre trail system and about 20 per cent of the parcel designated as greenspace.
Once the regional board approves amending Electoral Area C’s official community plan, proponents will be required to apply to the provincial government for the actual subdividing of the parcel.
Approval for the subdivision could take as long as a year as the province needs to consult other government agencies. Because the development includes environmentally sensitive areas near the creek, proponents will also be required to have a impact study done.
Sandstone held a public information meeting in October at the request of the regional district.
According to Electoral Area C director Colin Palmer, the meeting was well attended with more than 100 people.
Palmer said he appreciates that the owners have not decided to sell the land and allow it to be used for industrial purposes, or log off the land and sell the timber.
"I'm very much in favour of changing the official community plan,” he said.
Palmer added, however, that he is not taking an official position on the actual development until the developers apply for the subdivision.
“There's a whole process here,” said Palmer, “and at this point it's up to the planning committee.”