Jordan Sturdy to run for mayor of Pemberton again 

North Arm Farm owner to seek third term

Jordan Sturdy is taking his third stab at the mayor's chair.

The owner of North Arm Farm and mayor of the Village of Pemberton since 2005, confirmed Wednesday morning that he would be seeking election again.

"I had been intending to run for another term for some time," he said.

"It's been really challenging over the summer, it's a super busy time for us, to sit down and focus not on this political or that particular issue. It was something that I wanted to do with (wife) Trish, (daughters) Emma and Thea, which is what we did. There was unanimous consent."

Sturdy has overseen a busy time for the Village of Pemberton. His latest term has seen the approval of a boundary expansion that has incorporated 20 areas including the Hillside into the Village's jurisdiction.

The next step, he said, is considering an amalgamation of parts of Area C with the Village.

"That part has already begun and will take place over the next several years," Sturdy said. "It's highly complex and, to me personally, quite fascinating."

Council got a look at the result of expansion at its Tuesday meeting. Ravens Crest Developments presented an updated housing plan for the Hillside area, leading some to question whether there's any demand for it.

A report to council showed a plan for a community with 60 lots for single-family homes, with sizes ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet; a townhouse development with 230 units on 24 acres; and affordable housing that would see single-family lots and townhome units "all at market value."

The plan met with skepticism from Niki van Kerk, the co-organizer of Slow Food Cycle Sunday, who asked council whether there was any demand for such a development in Pemberton.

"I'm just wondering if we have metrics on what we have today in the Village," she said. "We have a lot of places for rent, we have a lot of places for sale, why are we looking at expanding? I feel like we already have a lot here that's not being used. We've already planned the Tiyata lands, there's a lot around that's close by."

Green initiatives proposed as part of the plan include "encouraging" lot owners to explore passive solar design opportunities; "encouraging" owners to explore solar hot water design opportunities; and "encouraging" development to consider supplemental solar power, believing that it may not be viable to provide year-round full demand power given Pemberton's climate.

The energy initiatives drew negative attention from Sturdy.

"I don't like the 'encourage' aspect of any of the green initiatives," he said. "I would very much like to see some 'requires' in there, whether we deal with that at the (development permit) stage or the rezoning."

Councillor Susie Gimse suggested that the developers hold a public meeting, not a public hearing, to get information about the development out to the community.

"We went through an extensive process when we went through the Official Community Plan, everyone knew this development was eventually going to land on our plan," she said. "It's a significant development and people just want an opportunity to learn about it."

Cam McIvor, the principal of Ravens Crest Developments, responded that the development has already gone through a number of public processes but he didn't rule out having another public meeting.

"With respect to public processes, this has been around since 2005 in various forms," he said. "This is significantly similar to the 05/06 proposal. Sunstone Ridge met with the Plateau residents on a regular basis, had open house sessions while it was in the Regional District, there has been many public processes.

"I'm not saying more isn't required, I'm just trying to make the statement that it has gone through a significant process."

Council received the report, adding comments to incorporate into bylaws required were the development to move forward. Council will also look to separate bylaw requirements from requirements under the development permit process.




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