March 2015 open house for Valemount Glacier Destinations.
March 2015 open house for Valemount Glacier Destinations.

By Korie Marshall

Changes to the official community plan for an all-season resort west of Valemount will now go to public consultation, part of a joint process with the provincial government.

The Valemount Glacier Destinations project is currently undergoing a master plan review process under the province’s All Seasons Resort Policy. At the same time, the proponents are applying to the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George for changes to the official community plan.

The planned resort area covers almost 9,000 hectares of Crown land centred over the Premier Range, and is currently designated Agricultural-Resource in the Robson Valley-Canoe Upstream OCP. The application is to change the OCP designation to Resort Commercial, and also to change land use policies applicable to the Resort Commercial designation.

At its regular meeting on Thursday July 23rd, the Regional District board passed first reading of the OCP amendments. They also approved staff’s recommended consultation plan, which include meetings with the public. The plan also includes a written invitation to comment period advertised in local newspapers and the district’s website and mailed to the owner of privately-held land already designated as Resort Commercial (on Canoe Mountain); direct referral to the three First Nations with identified traditional territory in the area – Simpcw First Nation, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and Canim Lake Indian Band – and written referrals to technical agencies.

Representatives of Valemount Glacier Destinations held a public open house in Valemount early this month, inviting comments from the public. Tommaso Oberti, spokesperson for the project, said it was ambitious, but if approved, the group hopes to begin construction in the spring of 2016, and hopes to have the first lifts running by Christmas 2016.

They anticipate filing the final Master Plan to the Province soon.