By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Jan. 26, 2013
The SLRD assessment of the water situation for Taicheng was rather blunt.
There is water supply capacity for only 300 units, but Taicheng wants 3,000 units.
Where will the water come from?
Now, the developer has some answers, and some were shared with the Reporter this week.
Ron Lee, the consultant for Taicheng, said their engineers have doubled the estimates of the available water from the aquifer.
An earlier ground water study by Taicheng had identified a small aquifer with limited capacity and a surface water study identified seasonal capacity in Thistle and Daisy Creeks.
Now, new sources such as drilling another well might also be considered, said Ron Lea, a planner for the project.
“Our intent is to supply the entire development with drinkable ground water,” Lea said.
SLRD, Lea said, had one of the highest water supply requirements in the province.
Taicheng proposes to reduce those expectations by proving to the SLRD it can provide safe drinking water with proper monitoring programs.
Taicheng has suggested rebuilding Parklane, Mountain Lake and Utopia Lake Dams as one option to provide seasonal storage for the development, with a potential intake in the Lower Britannia Creek Dam.
Lea said if SLRD agrees, it might be able to avoid building storage dam.
“We would like to avoid the need for dam, it’s expensive and it’s environmentally unsustainable,” Lea said.
SLRD is cautious in lowering its standards, but is being receptive to the idea being proposed by Taicheng, he added.
Besides reassessing supply and scouting for another well, the proponents are also looking at conserving water, and figuring out other ways to save it, such as using non-drinkable water for flushing toilets.
Taicheng development could easily change the face of Britannia Beach.
Three hotels, a winery, a supermarket, 3,000 residential units, schools, parks and light industry are all on the table.
Taicheng Development Corporation, a Chinese real estate firm, paid $31.5 million to buy the Makin lands in a court ordered sale this March.
Initially, Taicheng proposed a 4,000-unit residential development, but scaled it back to 3,000 units.
Taicheng proposes that the majority of these residential units be multi‐family, including townhouses, stacked townhouses and apartments.
It’s proposing 86 single-family detached homes, nearly 1,800 townhomes, and 1330 apartments.
The appropriate building height is being decided, although Taicheng is seeking flexibility to allow buildings up to 18 storeys.
The proposed 3,000 residential units are 2,000 more units than what OCP currently supports.
SLRD has retained the services of an independent real estate market consultant to provide an objective opinion on market viability.
Lea said the company is on track for an application to the SLRD in 2013. The company has held five workshops with the SLRD staff, and is planning another public consultation.
Speaking to resident’s fears about Minaty Bay, he said it will be a park, and will be extended along the waterfront.
“We are making good progress on this,” he said.