HARVIE HEIGHTS – A 55-unit visitor accommodation in Harvie Heights will move forward after the Municipal District of Bighorn’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board upheld its original approval.
The decision comes after a marathon 15-hour meeting on July 14 and 15 regarding the visitor accommodation development that is slated for Harvie Heights.
The development was approved by the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) earlier this year. The main concern among opponents, including the Harvie Heights Community Association (HHCA), to the development was the impact on the aquifer.
After hearing from the HHCA, various residents, the developer as well as MD staff, SDAB came to its decision on Aug. 2, with two changes to the conditions.
The first condition outlined the applicant will not disturb or damage the upper aquifer in carrying out the development. A geotechnical or hydrogeological engineer must supervise the installation of testing and monitoring equipment to identify the depth of groundwater and the location and form of the aquitard at the site.
A report must also be prepared to the satisfaction of the development authority that confirms the excavation and retaining wall will not endanger the upper aquifer.
“Under the supervision of the applicant’s engineer, monitor the monitoring/test wells on a weekly basis until the completion of the retaining wall,” the decision stated.
With the aquifer being the primary concern among the appellants to the development approval, SDAB tried to address the concerns through the changes to the condition.
“This is a significant issue, and the board is satisfied that it is appropriate to modify condition 6 to clarify the applicant’s responsibilities and the testing to be carried out,” the decision stated. “The board modified condition six to specify that monitoring/testing wells must be located upslope from the intended location on the retaining wall, since that is the area of concern for damage to the aquifer.”
The second condition was plans for a rooftop deck on the second level of the first building to be replaced with a flat roof or roof consistent with other rooftops on the building with no outdoor amenity area.