Village of Burns Lake. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Council gives a nod for the village heights subdivision project

The village of Burns Lake will be moving forward with the project for a Village Heights Subdivision master plan, as agreed upon in a recent council meeting.

Village chief administrative officer, Sheryl Worthing told Lakes District News that the council had approved funding from the Northern Capital Planning Grant to create a phased Village Heights Subdivision Master Plan.

“That is like a miniature OCP (official community plan) for land use in the Village Heights area. It is concept development planning that will help us determine how the property will and can be developed,” she said.

The master plan development will cost roughly $150,000.

Council also discussed the acute shortage of housing and how the development of this land could be one of the solutions for the housing problem.

A study was also completed to determine the costs for bringing water and sewer to the industrial park and the village heights area. The preliminary design for the water and sewer expansion for the project is for 3, 550 meters of water main.

The engineers working on the preliminary design reviewed their findings on the preliminary study to bring water and sewer to the industrial park, as well as explained the process of doing a subdivision master plan during the meeting.

Once developed, the provision of water and sewer to a specific area could be paid either in whole or in part by property owners in that area through a local service tax, which would mean the owners in that area would be on the hook for it. The water and sewer expansion was proposed last year in January at a council meeting however, at that time the council had deferred making any decisions on it and directed the council to do additional research on it.

This time too, no decisions were made on the water and sewer portions of the presentation and the staff was directed to take some of the council concerns and questions — such as how much water flow would be required to eliminate a second clorination station, and whether the SW corner of the area was challenging to develop — to True Engineering, the company that worked on the preliminary design.

In the meantime, work on the master plan development will continue and the next steps in the process would involve a full concept plan for Village Heights which will also determine areas for developing infrastructure to bring water to the industrial park, said Worthing. The process will cover not just the council and the village staff but will also involve the community through open houses. There would also be a way for developer engagement with the community during the process.

The Subdivision Master plan will start in August and take approximately eight months to complete, Worthing said.