Access Woes

RDOS Drops the Ball – AGAIN! – by Diane Sterne

Coalmont has been a happening place lately with new folk moving into town. One couple has purchased 1870 and 1874 Fraser Street. Where are those addresses, you may ask? Until now, there was no road access to the lots because Fraser had never been pushed through between Parrish and Campbell. This couple’s lots are located smack in the middle of the block and are zoned residential. In order for them to get to their property, they need road access.

According to the owner, he contacted RDOS and they said the road already existed. Once again RDOS doesn’t really know what is happening in our town because everyone here knows there isn’t an actual road there, it is only shown as a road on the map which was drawn in 1911. The man said he told RDOS there wasn’t a road there and they said to contact Highways to have it put in. The man told us he contacted Highways and they said they wouldn’t put in the road, but that as long as he stayed within the road allowance for Fraser Street, he could put one in. Once he put it in, it would become public access and he would have to ensure it was never blocked off. After contacting RDOS once again, the man told us he was given the go ahead to put in a road.

His intentions are to put through a narrow road approximately 15 ft. wide (within the 66 foot road allowance) and he would try to wind it around existing trees as much as possible to minimize the disturbance. Since RDOS didn’t seem to care which direction he brought the road in, he chose to come in off Campbell. As he explained to us, he thought it would have the least impact on the neighbours. His intentions were sincere and good.

Unfortunately, what RDOS didn’t do was read their own map. The Coalmont map on the RDOS website clearly shows the land between Parrish and his property is residential and the land between Campbell and his property is zoned as a park. It would have made much more sense for RDOS to have instructed our new neighbour to punch his road through the residential part rather than the park area, but it would appear that whoever spoke with him didn’t bother to look very carefully at the Coalmont map in their own database. While our new neighbours have done nothing wrong, and they explained they were unaware the area was designated a park, RDOS has once again dropped the ball. I wonder how many times someone at RDOS will “drop the ball” before anyone will actually lose their job over it? With RDOS in Penticton and Coalmont 2 hours away, problems continue to arise and no one is ever held accountable. We get a shrug of the shoulders and hear the old “I guess someone at RDOS dropped the ball again” but, personally, I am getting pretty tired of hearing it. §

Satellite view of lots and zoning

One thought on “Access Woes”

  1. I personally think that it would be best to bring in the road from Parrish and just continue the stretch of Fraser which already exists, regardless of how narrow it will be. Cutting into the forested area doesn’t seem like the best idea, and why break Fraser into sections?

    That said, the PR designation refers to “Parks and Recreation Zone”. There is no stipulation that it is supposed to be a park. In fact allowed developments would include fire halls, residence, day care, resorts, and of course roads and lanes. Sometimes though, what is “allowed” is not always the best choice for everyone.

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