Highlands residents invited to view potential industrial site

Highlands residents have a chance to weigh in on the future design of a key piece in the District’s industrial area this month.

Highlands residents have a chance to weigh in on the future design of a key piece in the District’s industrial area this month.

“It’s 65 acres and with the Millstream Meadows site, it’s 100 acres,” said Mayor Ken Williams. “It’s a big development on our southern border.”

The property in question, adjacent to the Millstream Meadows site and located across Millstream Road from the Highlands municipal hall, has been the centre of much discussion over the last year. Council is considering a rezoning application from O.K. Industries Ltd. that, if approved, could see the site turned into an industrial park featuring an aggregate farm.

“There’s nothing cast in stone at this point. The application is there and we’re going through the process,” Williams said. He also noted a number of ecological considerations and factors such as neighbouring properties are being taken into account, which has also played into the timeline of the application.

“They want the support to become an industrial park,” he said.

Part of that will involve getting the community’s input at a special meeting later this month. But at council’s request and as a preview to that event, O.K. Industries is hosting a guided walking tour of the site this Sunday (Sept. 11).

The walkabout is scheduled for 10 a.m. and is expected to last approximately two hours. All participants will be required to sign a liability waver before entering the property.

“It’ll give a real-world sense of what is here,” Williams said of why council requested the tour. “It gives you a lot more information.”

Also, a committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 12 will be dedicated to a mini design charrette for the project. The purpose of this short, collaborative meeting is for committee and community members to brainstorm design ideas for group discussion. It gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Highlands Community Hall, 729 Finlayson Arm Rd.

Williams noted the two events will provide an opportunity for residents to voice what they would like to see – or not see – at the site and what kind of industrial park they potentially want there. “There’s lots to discuss … I’m hoping for a good turnout. I think everyone should come take a look,” he added.

Organizers ask that walking tour participants come prepared for variable weather conditions and suggest wearing rugged footwear suitable for a roughly two-hour hike over undulating terrain.

For more information on the application go to bit.ly/2cz8b2e.