From Brock Nanson’s unit in Settler’s Crossing you can see the stakes that mark where residents of the new Echo Landing development will access their property.
The project is going ahead as planned despite concerns raised by strata vice-president Nanson and other council members.
Echo Landing is proceeding after years of preparation by A & T developments in Kamloops who previously created many local complexes including both Settler’s Crossing and Stone’s Throw.
The 48 unit build is set to use a driveway with an entrance currently shared by Settler’s Crossing and Stone’s Throw developments. For the strata council of Settler’s Crossing that’s where the problem begins.
The land is deeded to them, the strata said.
An easement created in 2006 can be seen on a BC Land Title and Survey document. According to Nanson the only easement is a small one in favour of Stone’s Throw and no such easement exists in favour of Echo Landing.
Strata president Andy Oetter said his council wants the developer to use a different access point.
Andy Oetter said the issue arose long before he purchased three years ago.
A letter written to Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) Council in 2011 from the strata council outlined concerns with the shared access.
In response SPMRM’s recorded minutes indicate a letter was to be sent to the planning department at Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) for input but SPMRM staff could not confirm if that happened and the TNRD has no record of receiving or responding to a letter.
Oetter said the issue returned two months ago when they received a disclosure describing the neighbouring project.
Oetter and Nanson said the bottom line is safety of residents in all three complexes.
Specific concerns include sight lines while entering and exiting from Village Way, a six metre wide driveway which may not be safe for use by drivers and pedestrians, issues of liability, increased maintenance costs and disruption to residents, emergency access, snow storage and removal and confusing access for visitors.
“The bottom line is safety, it’s all about safety,” Oetter said. “With a driveway without sightlines and double the traffic—it’s just a matter of time that something bad would happen.”
Nanson said the sightlines are “sub-standard,” especially when snowbanks and speeding drivers are factored in.
He said they would consider allowing emergency access on their property should the main access be moved.
Planned emergency access for Echo Landing is located beside a skiway between homes and the Woodhaven development.
With those concerns in mind the five member strata council has reached out to A & T who said they will discuss any matters related to the right of way except the right of access. Currently the strata council has obtained legal counsel who have written a letter to A & T, but said they would prefer not to use them.
“Our goal is for us not to have to go the legal route and for the developer to talk to us,” Oetter said. “We would love to be good neighbours to them.”
For developer Frank Quinn, there is little to discuss and work is moving ahead.
“They’re not legitimate issues. The statutory right of way was prescribed by the Ministry of Highways who took all those factors into account,” he said.
Quinn said it has always been intended for the three parcels to share access and Echo Landing’s lot (number 61) is visible on the Sun Peaks’ master development since 1999.
He said the strata’s proposed alternate access for Echo Landing is not possible or practical. Despite the strata’s claim it would be safer, Quinn said that area of the property has a grade which is too steep for a safe entry.
“There’s no question we’ll have to use that (the existing) access.”
The future for the strata involves a third presentation to SPMRM council and attempting to speak with A & T about the creation of a different access point.
Quinn said though they have no intention of changing their plans they will meet at any time to discuss issues raised by the strata and have said that in communications with Oetter.
“We’ve been developers at Sun Peaks since 1997. We’ve never had an argument with any of our neighbours about anything,” he said. “We’re good, honest, hardworking developers and will behave as responsible corporate individuals and will treat the community of Settler’s in the best possible way we can, recognizing this is the only lawful access to
Update Oct. 4 2017
Residents of Settler’s Crossing have shared an online petition against the use of their driveway.