What’s happening on the Galloway Lands?

Update from FNS Board of Directors re: Galloway Lands Application

As committed to at our Annual General Meeting this summer, we are providing an update on the application for the proposed development of the Galloway property.

Last year, the FNS Board was informed by the Galloway property landowner that a conditional offer had been received for the Galloway property. We were then contacted by Reto Barrington of Handshake Holdings confirming his intent to apply for rezoning and apply for a residential development on the property. Note that the ‘Galloway Lands’ referred to include the land on which the Grunt/partial Runt and Galloway Loop exist as well as the connecting trails to the Fernie Alpine Resort.

At the AGM we:

  • Provided Mr. Barrington’s letter assuring no change or interruption to the 2021/2022 ski season;
  • Committed to continued engagement and partnership with the landowner;
  • Committed to providing formal application information to our members once released by the Regional District of East Kootenay.

Last month, we received a package from Development Services at the RDEK with the attached application for the ‘Galloway Lands’ development and were encouraged by the RDEK to share the application and process with our membership.

The RDEK also provided us with the following general timeline for the formal process to be communicated to our members:

  • RDEK sends referral packages out to other agencies for comment – October.
  • Public “open house” or some sort of similar consultation event hosted by the applicant – late November, early December.
  • Bylaws presented to the RDEK Board of Directors for the first time – January 2022, and if advanced, a public hearing to be held late January.
  • If the bylaw is advanced to a public hearing, the RDEK will collect formal public comments on the proposal at that time.

Any changes to these timelines or formal dates established for Open Houses, etc. will be communicated to our membership.

The FNS Board of Directors wishes to reiterate the role we play in this process, and the role/opportunity of our greater membership in reviewing and participating.

  1. These lands are private. FNS continues to work with Bud Nelson as the current landowner for our continued access, which is also supported and confirmed by Mr. Barrington as per his letter provided at our AGM. It is a privilege, not a right, to have access to this property and we are very grateful for the ongoing partnership with the landowner. We are thankful also for the partnership with The Cedars and Mount Fernie Provincial Park for the access via the Mount Fernie Provincial Park corridor.
  1. The FNS Board are reviewing and discussing the application with a focus on compatibility with the experience we aim to provide our members and visitors. It is our understanding that it is the intent of the Galloway Lands developer to retain public access for nordic skiing as part of the development, with a covenant to be placed on those trails for continued public access.
  1. Our primary concern is to ensure that trails in which we invest public and membership funds for maintenance, grooming and programming are compatible with our primary mission of the FNS, which is: Providing exceptional cross country skiing opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages. Through this lens we are seeking to understand how an exceptional experience can be maintained from an operational, programming and user perspective. This includes considerations of road crossings, maintaining safe public access, trail connectivity and environmental stewardship.
  1. We have met with the consultant for the Galloway Lands application for a preliminary discussion on some of the considerations regarding continued trail access for FNS members and the general public, and will continue to engage as additional information is released by the developer. We will participate in the Open House to be hosted in the near future and encourage our members to participate through that process.

Read the Application for Land Use Amendment from Handshake Holdings Inc.

You can open THIS LINK or click on the image above to read the document. Or right-click to save it to your device.