The building on the former Marmot Ridge Golf Course site may be resurrected as a vet clinic. (File photo)

The building on the former Marmot Ridge Golf Course site may be resurrected as a vet clinic. (File photo)

Vet clinic proposal at Marmot Ridge receives third reading

Council gives initial approval to rezoning project

The District of 100 Mile House has given third reading to an application for a vet clinic at the former Marmot Ridge Golf Course.

Dr. Ross Dickinson of Lakeland Vet Clinic, is seeking a zoning amendment for the building on the property, at 200 Exeter Station Rd., to allow it to be used for veterinary services, including a large animal facility. The property is currently zoned in two separate designations: Commercial Vehicle Oriented and Parks.

Dickinson made the application on behalf of the property’s owner, Golden Bloom Investment Group Corp., which has listed the property for sale at $1.5 million. He said he plans to buy the property but that is incumbent on the rezoning going ahead. The application only applies to the existing building and parking lot, and not the surrounding land, which would have to be removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

At a public hearing last week, four written submissions were made in favour of the amendment. No one was opposed although Donna Barnett, the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce’s president, said there should be a long-term plan put in place for the whole property, including the ALR land.

Dickinson told the Free Press last week that the Marmot Ridge property is the only one they looked at that “checked all the boxes” and is within budget. The underlying plan is to attract more veterinarians and veterinary technicians to meet increasing demand in the South Cariboo area.

To do this they need to stand apart from other clinics in the province that are also looking for staff, he said. The square footage of the property, the private entrance to the building and a gate that locks at night would be more than sufficient for their needs.

The current Lakeland Vet clinic is too close to Horse Lake Road, which means there is always the potential of an animal getting loose and running out onto the road, he said. Plus, the Marmot Ridge location primarily has industrial properties in the area, which limits the amount of traffic, and will provide staff a quiet place to go for a walk for some fresh air on their lunch break.

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He said the ALR land could also be used to provide paddocks for some of the larger animals requiring vet care, although it is premature to comment on future development plans. He would also like to add trails around the property so staff can walk the animals.

“If we can’t rezone to operate the vet clinic out of that existing building then the entire project falls through,” he said.

If they do pursue the removal of land from the ALR at some future date, Dickinson said they would “obviously try to meet the greatest need 100 Mile House has at that time as far as a residential or commercial development.”

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