Welcome to Rethink Galloway
Who are we?
We are concerned citizens living in Fernie and the surrounding area who share a deep interest in the future of the Galloway Lands.
Why does it matter?
The Galloway development is currently fast tracking through the approval process without appropriate impact studies. We are speaking up to ensure these studies are completed and considered prior to any potential zoning approval.
This is a significant rezoning proposal and we want to make sure the decision considers the values important to Elk Valley residents. As a community we need to imagine the best possible future for the Elk Valley, and part of that is making the right decisions today for generations to come.
The proposed development lands form a significant wildlife corridor connecting the top of the Lizard range to the Elk River, and are a home to grizzly bears, moose, goshawk and other plant and animal species. Lizard Creek, which runs along the lower edge of the lands, is an important spawning and rearing habitat for Westslope cutthroat trout. A wildlife impact study must be completed prior to potential zoning approval.
If approved, the Galloway development will consist of 90 large estate homes in an area with challenging ground water hydrology that feeds directly into Lizard Creek and the Elk River. A comprehensive environmental impact study must be completed prior to potential re-zoning approval.
Impact on Recreation
The development proposal will eliminate a significant portion of the Elk Valley Nordic Center trails. Prior to any potential re-zoning approval, we need firm commitments from the developer on what will and will not happen to the Galloway trail system for both summer and winter use. Vague assurances regarding rerouting of impacted trails and unenforceable promises regarding future trail access are insufficient protection for this valuable trail system.
The RDEK recently completed a Housing Needs Report to better understand housing challenges facing the region. The results of this comprehensive study were released in December 2021 and among other things, it highlighted the need for more diverse housing options. "The findings indicate a need for housing across the RDEK that supports the needs of older residents and younger residents, especially those starting out and young families. Specifically, there is a need for more housing that is affordable and accessible for those on limited incomes, particularly within the rental market. An aging population presents a greater need for smaller housing units that allow for downsizing". It is not clear how the Galloway Development aligns with the findings of the RDEK Housing Needs Report.
We urge our decision makers and our community to consider the impacts of a development of this scale on the future of our Valley. How is this style of development consistent with the findings of the Elk Valley Area A Housing Needs Assessment? What does the future of this Valley look like if we use development as a conservation measure?
We all need to imagine the best possible future for the Elk Valley, and part of that is making the right decisions today for generations to come. Lets work together to generate a new option for the current owner that supports both the owner’s legacy and the interests of our community today and into the future.
Our elected RDEK representatives are trusted to make decisions that are in the best interests of their constituents. They must listen and engage with residents to ensure decisions made are right for the community, today and into the future. The scale and impact of this development proposal warrants thorough engagement and consideration of all options.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE THE COMMUNITY TO RETHINK GALLOWAY, PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION