Once again, the Hope District Council has been burned by a developer with big dreams.
The trees were removed with a commitment to the council to proceed with a development. Now the ground water is surface water that is pooling to form a pond amongst the piles of tree stumps left from logging the property. And now it’s become apparent someone is also selling firewood from the site.
As I recall, the land owner committed to council to restore the trees should the development not proceed. Well, now that it’s obvious he defaulted, he won’t be proceeding with restoring the trees he logged, nor will he proceed with the development.
This leaves me to wonder when will council stop believing developers with big plans and organizations who don’t respect existing zoning rules?
Quoting from a Dec. 10, 2018, Hope Standard article, “$75,000.00 has been paid to the District should the land need to be restored ‘to its pre-development state’ if the ‘project dies.’”
Now that the land has gone into a“court ordered sale,” will the District of Hope be restoring the land with the $75,000.00 collected?
This is not the first time these questions have been asked. Council documents indicate they had similar questions at a Feb. 23, 2015, meeting.
“(Mike) Hache said he and the District agreed on a number of payments to at various stages of the project: $75,000 before any civil work is done, $75,000 before a building permit is issued, and $100,000 before final occupancy.
“The money is to ensure that if the project dies, the costs to the District to do the work required on the land to return it to its pre-development state will be covered.”
*Editor’s note: The Hope Standard has reached out to the District of Hope for clarification around this issue/property. Councillor Victor Smith says that while the original agreement between the District and Mike Hache consisted of a payment schedule that listed $75,000—for reclaim purposes, should they be needed—the amount promised was delivered via bond, not actual cash. Now that the developer has claimed bankruptcy, the property is under a court-ordered sale, which also ties up the original bond of $75,000 until the case is settled.