As we noted in the January 14 Naturist Legacy News Update, "We have been in communication with the RM of Brokenhead since before we purchased our property. We continue to communicate with them." We now have some additional news to report on that front.
Naturist Legacy Inc. was invited to appear before the Brokenhead River Planning District Board. We were asked to make a formal presentation with regard to our intentions for the use and development of our new land. We prepared carefully for this meeting. We consulted extensively with a small group of our members who we felt were uniquely qualified to help us craft our presentation.
John [Kundert], Mark B. and John L. appeared before the Planning Board on behalf of Naturist Legacy Inc. on Thursday, January 27. The meeting was cordial from beginning to end. We were complimented on the quality of our presentation. Though the outcome of the meeting was neither the best that we had hoped for nor the worst that we had feared, all three of us detected what we interpret as a willingness on the part of Board members to be helpful.
We were in front of the Planning Board for a full hour. John [Kundert] had prepared information booklets for everyone. Mark did most of the talking. Members of the Planning Board asked us many questions after our presentation and we, in turn, asked many questions of them. The real sticking point was as we expected it to be — camping trailers. Because of the small number of trailers involved, we were hoping for a simple accommodation by the Board, but no matter which way we tried to explain our circumstances, they could see no other way to interpret our plans except as a campground. Their firm recommendation after a considerable amount of discussion was that we file a Conditional Use application that would allow us to actually build and operate a campground (something that is allowed under our current zoning).
John [Kundert] and Mark formally filed that application in person at the RM offices on Monday, January 31st. We have been told that our application will be heard by the RM of Brokenhead Council in early March. Conditional Use applications can be granted, rejected, or granted with restrictions by council after a public hearing. There is no appeal process. The RM will notify our immediate neighbours by mail (those within 100 meters of our property) about the upcoming Conditional Use hearing. We were warned that there will likely be at least some objections to our application. Such opposition — sometimes legitimate but often just meddlesome and without merit — is apparently a fairly routine occurrence at hearings of this kind. Our job over the next few weeks will be to prepare as best we can to answer any and all conceivable objections.
We mentioned the importance of "diplomatic consultations" in our last News Update. What we have related above has been exactly that. We believe that our appearance before the Planning Board and our several visits with the RM's chief development officer have been valuable relationship-building efforts that will serve us well going forward.
We DO NOT encourage members to personally contact the RM of Brokenhead or its council members at this time. We understand that some may wish to show support for our Conditional Use application. We have learned, however, that sometimes letters, e-mail messages and phone calls from non-residents can actually hurt a cause rather than help it, and so we are choosing to exercise caution. We are asking all members for their cooperation in this regard. We will advise you if circumstances change.
Members who have questions or concerns about these recent developments are encouraged to contact us....
SOURCE: This article (slightly abridged) is from the public non-members edition of the February 3, 2011 Naturist Legacy News Update. It was written by me. Check out the 2011 Photo Galleries to see what was accomplished during this ambitious year of construction and development at Naturist Legacy Park.