If you've been keeping up with the news lately, you've no doubt noticed some articles about the development planned for the mouth of the Adams River. The project, proposed by the New Futures Building Group, was to include 218 year-round residences, a 160-berth marina and commercial space. Due to its location at the mouth of the river, famous for its salmon run, it faced by strong opposition from the Shuswap Environmental Action society who believe it will pose a threat to the salmon run.

In light of the opposition, developers agreed to completely remove the marina from their plans and also lowered the height of the planned commercial space from 16 metres to 11.5 metres; however, opponents would like to see the entire project cancelled and the land be made into parkland.

Meanwhile, in the Lower Mainland, the city of Chilliwack made a move to extend its boundaries to the area surrounding Cultus Lake and caused an issue with local native bands who claim that any change in title to the lands should result in the land going to them first. The developed land around the lake, which currently includes waterfront homes, marinas and a water slide park is currently leased from the City under renewable leases. When the amalgamation with Chilliwack was proposed, some owners of these homes and businesses suggested having the option to buy their titles which started the controversy.

Although City officials claim there are no plans to allow owners to purchase their titles, native leaders are preparing an application under the federal government's new claim policy.

So what does this all mean? Native land claims and environmental concerns have been the cause of controversy in B.C. for many years. For developers, research and due diligence when purchasing property and planning is of the utmost importance here. Ensuring that you have resolved any potential issues with local First Nations and that your development is designed in an environmentally friendly manner prior to making your applications will hopefully help you to sail through the process trouble free.