The new Jumbo Glacier mountain resort municipality continues to take steps forward.
At the municipality’s third meeting on Tuesday, April 16th, Jumbo’s council appointed four people – including two members-at-large – to its municipal environmental advisory board, scheduled a public hearing for a proposed zoning bylaw in the Farnham part of the municipality and heard from a Jumbo project opponent concerned about the municipality’s financial capacity.
The proposed bylaw – zoning bylaw 0006 – will dictate what can and cannot occur in the Farnham Glacier area.
Jumbo council, which consists of Mayor Greg Deck and councillors Nancy Hugunin and Steve Ostrander, set a public hearing date on the proposed bylaw for Monday, May 13th starting at 9 a.m. at the Radium Hot Springs municipal office.
“It’s an opportunity to hear from anybody who feels his or her interests may be affected,” said Mr. Deck.
Given the intense debate surrounding the proposed ski resort during the past two decades, the Jumbo council anticipates many people may want to make a verbal submission at the hearing and is taking steps to make sure everybody gets a chance to be heard. People can sign up on Friday, May 10th to make a presentation at the hearing. Council will limit verbal submissions to five minutes per person and will keep submissions individual rather than for groups.
“There will be a lot of controversy over Jumbo; I don’t want people to be intimidated (by large groups),” said Mr. Deck.
After participants sign up, Jumbo’s acting chief administrative officer Mark Read will set up a schedule, so that people have a rough idea when they will get their chance to present, without having to to wait around all day.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Brisco resident Jim Galloway appeared as a delegation for the second time at Jumbo’s three council meetings to date. He cited two previous reports (the Iris/Sno Engineering report in March 1999 and the Dr. Marvin Shaffer report in May 2010) while expressing concern that the proposed developments at Jumbo may not ever succeed.
“Because this project will probably fail in its early stages, the province’s taxpayers will be legally left holding the bag,” he said. “The people of B.C. will have to pay for all the restoration work that will be necessary in the Jumbo Valley and up on the glaciers.”
There are strong indications that the proposed Jumbo Glacier resort planners will be unable to find investors and will then need to start the development work on their own, said Mr. Galloway, who suggested the resort promoters should give proof of their financial capability and post cash security deposits before any work is allowed to proceed in the Jumbo area. The council asked Mr. Read to prepare a comprehensive written response addressing Mr. Galloway’s concerns.
The council appointed Mrs. Hugunin as the primary council member and Mr. Ostrander as the alternate on the Jumbo environmental advisory board, along with members-at-large David Reynolds and Rick Kunelius.
Mr. Kunelius is a former senior wildlife warden at Banff National Park who currently does wildlife consulting for ski resorts and heli-ski operators.
Mr. Reynolds will graduate from the University of Calgary this June with a PhD focusing on the effects of climate change on ski resorts in Western Canada from 2020 to 2050.