Ashcroft Briefs – Council closes Juniper Dr. access

Summary of the Ashcroft Council meeting on April 8.

From the Ashcroft Council meeting on April 8.

Roll Call: Mayor Andy Anderson and councillors Alice Durksen and Jerry Fiddick. Missing: Councillors Helen Kormendy and Jackie Tegart.

Jumbo Glacier

Council is just as concerned as the District of Invermere, which is asking the Union of BC Municipalities to become involved in opposing the creation of a new resort municipality by the province, called Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resourt Municipality.

The District is also asking other municipalities to express their concern to the provincial government about the precedent set by establishing a municipality with no population and with an appointed council.

“No residents?” asked Mayor Anderson. “I had to read it twice.”

“UBCM does not support un-elected politicians making land-use decisions,” said Coun. Alice Durksen.

“It is a little frightening that a local government can be formed in the middle of nowhere with no residents,” said administrator Michelle Allen. The Letters Patent that created the municipality were approved in February, she said.

Juniper Dr. access closure

Council voted to close the informal access behind Juniper Dr. after hearing from residents on the matter since before Christmas. The Village will install barriers across the entrance to the Village-owned lands from Heustis Dr.

Residents have argued for and against the access, saying on one hand that it is a dangerous liability for the Village, while the property owners say it’s the only access they have to park at the back of their properties.

Council debated briefly on whether they should make the property available for purchase to the current homeowners, but there was no guarantee that that the access would be kept open.

“There’s nothing to say that a new owner won’t fence off their piece,” said Coun. Jerry Fiddick. “That won’t solve the problem.”

The strip of land borders a hill and drops off on one side. The Village doesn’t maintain it as a roadway, but is still liable if someone is injured or killed while using it.

Council voted unanimously to close it.

Next Meeting

Apr. 22 at 7 pm in the Village Office.