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RDCK takes no position on Zincton village

Following the suggestion of their planning staff, the Regional District of Central Kootenay board has opted not to take a position on the proposed Zincton Mountain Village, at least for now.

Vice-chair Walter Popoff, in whose area part of the project would be built, says a staff report presented to the board last week did a good job of laying out the regulations and rules at play, along with some of the concerns that he and other directors have expressed.

“It could benefit Area H if it is included in the tax base,” he says. “We have many services that could use the financial infusion. On the other hand, there are concerns of a development of that nature on the infrastructure in the area and the impact on wildlife habitat. I’ve received numerous letters about the impacts on the ecosystem in the area. That is a major concern to me.”

Popoff says although Zincton’s proponents have already provided a lot of information, the board still needs more before it is satisfied that the idea will be a net benefit to the region.

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The RDCK will reply to the provincial government’s mountain resorts branch laying out its areas of concern. Popoff says the board is also curious of the ramifications if Zincton ever became a municipality or a resort municipality.

“A lot of concerns are being expressed and before we can support the project, we have to see them addressed,” Popoff said.

RDCK staff said in their report that they want the province to “undertake a cumulative effects study to better understand those impacts prior to, or as a part of, the assessment of any application for use in this area.”

However, they do see many “attractive” aspects, including a focus on human-powered recreation and an adherence to sustainability principles in the project’s development and operation.

They also say that Zincton’s “magnitude and intensity” is beyond the official community plan’s vision for small-scale outdoor recreation. Therefore, they say an OCP amendment would be required.

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