Aquadel plan tweaked to address community concerns

The multi-family aspect, in the form of four-plexes, was nixed by the owner of the former golf course who is seeking to rezone the property

The cancellation of the rezoning hearing and subsequent changes were a chance to satisfy specific requests from those in the surrounding resort areas

A public hearing slated for Feb. 22 by Fraser Valley Regional District to rezone part of the former Aquadel Golf Course was cancelled last week at the request of the applicant.

The rezoning hearing will be rescheduled by FVRD for sometime later this spring, said owner Dick Whitlam, possibly in April.

The project was amended after community members came forward with concerns about the multi-family aspect of the Aquadel Gardens development not being in keeping with the rest of the neighbourhood, he told The Progress.

The original plan would see up to a maximum of 127 dwellings over the 10.3 ha property, with a mix of single family homes, duplexes as well as four-plexes. The goal was to rezone a portion of the old golf course property at 1859 Columbia Valley Road, to a new comprehensive development zone to accommodate the development of Comprehensive Resort Residential Development (CD1) and to rezone a portion of the property to Park (P-1) for a small public park.

But things have changed.

“What we have done is taken the multi-family aspect, the four-plexes, completely out of it,” said Whitlam, property owner and project applicant.

The property has been in the Whitlam family for six decades, and it was a golf course for 43 of those 60 years, he noted.

The cancellation of the rezoning hearing and subsequent changes were a chance to satisfy specific requests from those in the surrounding resort areas, including Lindell Beach residents, as well as those in the Cottages at Cultus Lake, and other resort communities.

“We didn’t think multi-family would be a big issue but it became bigger as we went through the planning process,” the owner explained.

The other change they could be looking at is that rather than creating a public park as an outdoor amenity, funds in lieu will likely go toward “community pathways” to Maple Bay, Whitlam said, “which is something that’s really needed.”

That decision will be made by FVRD officials.

“So I think these are some positive changes, and we are working with the community to develop a plan that will complement the entire south Cultus lake community,” Whitlam added.

The understanding was that if they agreed on the proposed use changes, like removing the multi-family idea, the area residents would support the proposed rezoning, he added.

The Aquadel project was one of two being considered for the area this month. The other was a  smaller rezoning project, Phase 4 of the Cottages at Cultus Lake, with 10 new strata lots and one fee-simple parcel on Frost Road. That rezoning hearing was Feb. 18 to change the zoning from rural to Campground Holiday Park.

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