Investigation into acquisition of Krestova private land for park purposes has begun

·2 min read

An analysis has been launched into the merit of adding a chunk of private land into the regional parks system.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay staff have taken up the mantle of exploration into the potential acquisition of 134 acres of land in Krestova — located in electoral Area H — to be used as regional parkland for outdoor recreation.

Area H director Walter Popoff said the land has already been used by people in the region to recreate.

“The property in question has traditionally been used by the community for a variety of recreation activities, and I know local residents would appreciate having the lands in public care for ongoing enjoyment,” he said. “Our community, especially young people, would benefit from a recreation site that is close by.”

But the interest has sparked a process that does take some time and effort. RDCK staff must now do the heavy lifting of preliminary research work to see if the land is worth pursuing.

That research entails several considerations, including how the park would fit into the RDCK’s Regional Parks Plan, the “desires of the local community,” how much it would cost to purchase as well as maintain, and any ongoing operational needs it might contain.

Popoff said that, based on preliminary work, the RDCK board of directors has directed staff to investigate the opportunity further, looking into “environmental criteria, outdoor experiences and activities, area attributes and management and planning criteria.”

There is some consideration for historical and cultural values.

“Communities often have strong emotional and personal ties to land, which are important to respect,” said Popoff.

The land — if it was to be acquired — would be done so based on fair market value. According to an RDCK release, “financial resources are limited, since land can only be purchased with taxation revenue. Acquisitions are generally not possible without a combination of taxation, donations and grants.”

However, the ongoing process of negotiation for the land and the purchasing process will all be done “in camera,” which means it is not open to the public.

Despite that, the regional district is looking for input from people in order to assess the level of community interest on acquiring the land and to support next steps.

People can provide input through several means:

• fill out an online feedback form: www.rdck.ca/forms/feedback.aspx (select “Parks” as the topic);

• send an email to: parks@rdck.bc.ca;

• send mail to the attention of the Parks department: Regional District of Central Kootenay, Box 590, 202 Lakeside Drive, Nelson, BC, V1L 5R4; or

• contact the electoral area director: www.rdck.ca/EN/main/government/board-of-directors.html.

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

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