Saturday, March 14, 2015

Paradise City, Gun Lake Logging, Gold Bridge Water, How to have your say

HEADLINE:  "Ghost Town Will Be Transformed To Paradise City (Tian-Fu City)"
Click here for my previous posts on this topic.  Much more to come of course.
Some of you may have seen Social Media posts of this newspaper front page. Here is an accurate translation, thanks to new local Bralorne property owner, Margaret Zheng for doing this for us.  

Journalist Yijing Ni / Burnaby

"Before and after August 2014 this newspaper (World Journal) has reported, BC ‘Ghost Town’ Bradian on the market for sale.  Ultimately, it is purchased by a Chinese company for under a million dollars.  According to news this company has given ‘Paradise City’ as the name to the development project which is launching its planning stage – build a comprehensive business, sports, resort and recreational facilities in the premise of retaining the little town’s historic characters.

"Bradian was first listed for sale in 2010, but has attracted minimal attention from investors.  The Listing real estate brokerage even produced a YouTube video marketing the property; unfortunately it obtained very little interest until a Chinese buyer purchased it for $945,000 before the end of 2014.

            Executive Vice President Ms. Huizhen Wang of Royal Pacific Realty who assisted China Zhong Ya Group Hebei Canada-China Co. in this real estate transaction revealed during an interview on January 12, 2015:  Bradian was difficult to sell not only because of the financial impact of the entire economy, also due to potential buyers’ consideration for future investment.  Because it involves construction of roads, water, electricity, sewer and other large infrastructure as well as commercial and residential project development, future capital investment is huge.  Buyers require courage in addition to financial strength.

            Bradian is located in the Bridge River Valley north of Whistler Ski Resort.  Gold mining started in the area in the mid-1800s.  When gold rush receded, the mines closed down, miners gradually moved away.  Originally a noisy gold mining town slowly became a deserted ‘ghost town’, now with 22 houses of barely acceptable condition.

Replication of Whistler
            According to Zhong Ya Group’s current planning of the Bradian development project named ‘Paradise City (Tian-Fu City)’, the historic features of the town will be retained while using Whistler’s successful model creating an one-stop smart resort for gold panning, jade picking, skiing, rafting, mountain sports, sight-seeing, vacationing and other recreational activities.

            The total project development area of 53 acres will include residential, commercial and green belt areas.  The first phase of the project will focus on infrastructure such as making applications to the government for land rezoning to build hotels, shopping malls and other commercial development; phase two and three will focus on retaining Bradian’s historic sites with its mountainous geographical advantages while integrating elements of Chinese customs of countryside development for leisure and recreation.

            The company is currently working to organize land surveyors, urban planners and related engineering and technical consultants to make further improvements on the government land use development program, and actively seeking for potential business partners.  The specific amount of capital investment and the time to start construction are still unknown.

            Michael Mills, a local developer responsible for the project said that after the completion of the real estate transaction, Bradian’s future attracted enormous attention.  The local government’s numerous questions about related development plans; the lingering nostalgia of some gold prospectors’ descendants of this little town; and the most ideal geographical location of being only 2 hours driving distance away from Whistler are all contributing factors for the development project’s optimistic outlook.  The immediate main task is to build infrastructure, to restore the vitality of the little town.  If the construction is smooth, trust British Columbia’s employment and economic development will be enhanced. "


So...what do you think about Logging at Gun Lake.  Take the survey here   (Gun Lake property owners please)

This is the latest image of where they will be logging next week. They will have two contractors working as the one contractor has finished what they can do at the Plateau ponds area for now. The logs from CB G17 will go up around to Slim Creek FSR and the rest down Vandenburg hill. They have completed the harvesting on CB G4 and G12 and will be doing the clean up in the area and hauling logs from there starting Monday. The site plan for G17 can be seen at this link below. To see site plans for the other 2 blocks see the previous post below this one:

All the meeting notes from the beginning of planning  and site plans can be viewed here: 

On Monday the log hauling will begin, with approximately 200 loads from the first cutblock. The committee of citizens from Gun Lake has been working with Aspen Planers and has developed a road safety plan.

Click Here: Road Safety Plan

Aspen's contractors and each driver has gone through this plan.  If you see a problem with a logging truck you need to report it to the RCMP in Lillooet.  I have had many discussions with the detachment and they along with Commercial Vehicle Inspector are aware that Road Safety, particularly on Rd. 40 and particularly as it relates to commercial vehicles is a large concern of this area.  If you don't report it they will have no idea there are issues.  


This is a local service area service for Gold Bridge property owners.  It has been a troubled service with many issues including some caused by the Regional District.  Last year this service ran a deficit of about $225 and a very small capital reserve about $3,500.  So the financial health of this service is not good.  

In order to make this service sustainable (revenue in equal expenses plus build a reserve) the user fees were increased over the last couple of years and all of the tax revenue came from parcel tax.   We heard from many that they felt this parcel tax was an unfair way to generate revenue as it unfairly put the bulk of the revenue generation equally no matter what your property was assessed for.

So this year we are collecting basically the same revenue, except $18,799 will come from a tax requisition based on assessment, $5,000 based on parcel tax and $7890 based on user fees. 

Additionally I have contributed $5,000 from the new BC Hydro Payment In Lieu of taxes arrangement of funds coming directly to Area A to this service.  That will help build a reserve without having to increase user fees or tax requisition.  You can see it come in on line 43000 and transfer into reserve on line 5300.

Here is a link to the budget.   Link:  GoldBridge Water Service 2015 Budget

Please Gold Bridge property owners if you have input please let me know.

How to have your say with the Regional District?
From time to time you may want to have your say with the Regional District?  This could be a question, something you disagree with, something you don't understand etc.  This is normal and it is even normal to feel a little upset or mad sometimes.  So, how to have your say?

1. Regional District Director (me)
I am pretty used to people being concerned and upset, it sort of goes with the territory.
You can phone me (250)238-2248 or you can email me I know many of you have done this on various issues and I have tried to help even on things that are Provincial Government responsibilities (not Regional District).  I always take your point of view into consideration along everyone else that talks to me. I will follow up with you and with the Regional District to see what can be done.  Because it is sometimes difficult to judge what the majority wants, I will do a survey to see if others of you agree or not (did this on the dog issue recently and we did a big one on the Hurley, currently doing one on Bralorne TV).  

2. SLRD Board or Electoral Area Meetings
Citizens can appear as a delegation at Board and Electoral Area Meetings.  You get 10 minutes.  You can arrange to do this by phoning the office 1-800-298-7753.

In the past you actually had to appear in person.  I found this to be really impractical given so many of our property owners live elsewhere or live here, its tough to make a daytime meeting in Pemberton.  So I advocated for, and our board has recently changed the policy, so you can now appear by telephone as a delegation.  This provides increased accessibility for citizens to have a voice directly with their local government.

This year, also as a result of a policy I suggested and the board went along with, in June the SLRD Board will have their meeting here in Gold Bridge on June 24 (Wed.).  This is an opportunity to request delegation status and also to come and watch your local government in action.  The plan is also for the board to be doing a tour of Area B, Lillooet and our area and I will see if there can be any informal opportunity to meet and talk to the Board members.  Each year of the four year term, the Board will meet in June in a different Electoral Area, we are first up!

3. Correspond with the Regional District
Letters can always be sent to the Regional District Board of Directors.

4. Public Community Meetings or Townhalls
In the last three years we have had several different types of meetings that anyone can come to, the last one being last spring.  That meeting was an ask anything , put forward anything type of meeting with SLRD staff and myself to answer questions.   The hot issue that day was the Gold Bridge Water service.    We will do this again this year probably in the fall given the Board is here in June.

How NOT to have your say with the Regional District and their elected officials?

When individuals attempt to influence, threaten or force an elected official(s) by using any of the these bullying methods, the focus will be on the inappropriate and unacceptable bullying tactic rather than the often valid concerns and questions and issues laying underneath their anger. Let's encourage and support our friends and neighbors to choose the methods listed above on "how to have your say" rather than non productive bullying tactics.