Monastery development moving slowly in Columbia Valley

New monastery would house nuns and offers place of prayer, if rezoning application approved by regional district board

A slow-moving development plan for a monastery in Columbia Valley will face its next step next week, in the form of a public hearing.

An application has been made to rezone a piece of property at 1615 Robinson Road to allow for construction of the Fa Yu Buddism Monastery. The Fraser Valley Regional District will be holding a public information meeting and public hearing on April 22.

FVRD’s Jennifer Kinneman explained this week that the property is already home to nuns, but the site is lacking a traditional monastery. She said the applicant is hoping to build residential quarters and a prayer area as part of the application, however a building application has not yet been made.

The public hearing next week will focus on an amendment to the property, to rezone a portion of it to residential and recreational assembly use. Another portion would be amended to rural agricultural.

The property has already been through an approval process by the Agricultural Land Commission and an OCP amendment. There was some concern about water usage, as water sources on the land in question provides drinking water for some nearby properties. A water supply and septic feasibility report was completed in January to address those issues.

Following the public information meeting and hearing, the FVRD board will consider the application for rezoning.

It would be up to the applicant to then put forward a building permit to move the process along.

The meeting on April 22 will be held at Columbia Valley Community Hall (1202 Kosikar Rd.) at 7 p.m.

All persons who believe that their interest is affected by the proposed bylaws will be allowed to speak or present written submissions respecting matters contained in the bylaws presented.

Written submission may also be submitted to FVRD prior to the hearing, but must be received no later than noon the same day.