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STELKIA RESORT DEVELOPERS HOPING TO BUILD 150 BOAT SLIPS FOR PROPOSED HOUSING PROJECT
OSOYOOS TIMES-July 28, 2010
By Paul Everest – Osoyoos Times
Part of a development project proposed for 28 hectares of Osoyoos Indian Band land at the head of Osoyoos Lake includes a plan for 150 boat slips.
The Chilliwack-based Van Maren Construction Group is spearheading a plan to build what’s being called the Stelkia Resort Development.
The construction group aims to build between 275 and 300 cottages or recreational homes on two parcels of land off of an extension of Black Sage Road belonging to band members Jane Stelkia and Modesta Betterton.
For the development to go ahead, more than 50 per cent of the band’s members would have to vote in favour of the development concept and the band would have to grant the developers a 99-year lease for the land where the homes would be built.
Eric Van Maren, one of the construction group’s owners, said band council is in favour of the project and band members will vote on the matter on Sept. 16 at the band office.
At the moment, the developers are applying for the ability to install 150 boat slips in the water adjacent to where the development would be built.
Van Maren said there would be no fuel sales or boat launches attached to the boat slip facility and for any slips to be built, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the provincial Integrated Land Management Bureau would have to sign off on the idea.
He added that requests for referrals would go out to other governments that border the lake such as the Town of Osoyoos and the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen.
On July 22, the developers took representatives from the Town, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Transport Canada to the site of the proposed boat slip facility by boat, Van Maren said.
As for the development proposal as a whole, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) has now signed off on the developers’ environmental studies and plans for the area and Van Maren said the next step is for band members to approve the project through the Sept. 16 referendum.
INAC will also have to oversee and approve the referendum and authorize the long-term lease.
There will be a public information meeting on the proposed development at 5 p.m. on Sept. 2 at the band’s Community Hall at 2814 Sandpoint Dr.
Should the development go ahead, marketing will begin in the early part of 2011 and the first homes would be completed in May of 2012, Van Maren said.
The homes would range in price from $225,000 to $320,000, with lakefront units going from $550,000 to $600,000.
According to a brochure from the developers being mailed out to band members, benefits to the band from the proposed development include property tax revenues of between $400,000 and $500,000 per year.
The band would also receive $1,050 from the sale of each home and $145,500 will be paid to the band when construction begins.