Briefs: Revelstoke council supports craft distillery

Revelstoke council supports craft distillery proposal, looks for input on height of proposed Farwell hotel.

Gareth Jones speaks to council about his distillery proposal.

A proposal to operate a craft distillery in the Mount Begbie Brewery facility on First Street moved one step closer to fruition on Tuesday.

Council gave third reading to the distillery proposal following an uneventful public hearing.

Gareth Jones, of Jones Distilling, applied to turn the brewery into a distillery — once Mt. Begbie moves into their new facility in Johnson Heights. “I want to make a small amount of very high quality product,” Jones told council. “I’m concentrating on vodka, gin and whiskey.”

He said the distillery would be both a producer of premium alcohol and would serve as a tourist draw. Jones said the distillery would include a tasting bar, and that he hopes to eventually add a restaurant to the operation.

“It’s designed to be a high-end product and a tourist attraction to the town,” he said.

The bylaw to add distillery use to the building passed third reading unanimously.

Jones initially proposed to build a craft distillery in Salmon Arm, however a deal for a site fell through.

“I’m looking at other options for locations in both places, looking to find the right fit, but there will only be one location,” Jones told the Salmon Arm Observer. “I’m pretty gutted about the thing falling through, but I’m still moving ahead. I just need to find the right fit.”

With a report from the Salmon Arm Observer

Input sought on hotel height

The City of Revelstoke is seeking input on a proposed 5.5-storey hotel in the Farwell neighbourhood.

Council agreed to move towards the public input stage on a development variance permit application made by the Revelstoke Land & Development Corporation (RLDC).

“The public process is to receive written submissions from now until the next council meeting,” Dean Strachan, the city’s manager of development services, told council, adding that staff would be going door-to-door with letters to all residents and businesses within 100 metres of the property.

RLDC seeks permission to build a 5.5-storey, 26-metre high hotel on the vacant lot at the intersection of First Street and Wright Street. The existing zoning permits a 2.5-storey, 10.5-metre height maximum.

Strachan explained the plan is to have the hotel located at the northeast corner of the property, with the rest of the property set aside for parking. He said the location of the hotel would prevent shading of properties on Second Street, but would create afternoon shading for the Gateway Motel across the street.

Councillor Aaron Orlando asked Strachan if there would be a public information session. Strachan replied that anyone with questions is welcome to call or visit him at city hall.

There is likely to be mixed reaction to the application when council considers it next. The first letter they were presented with said 5.5 storeys was “too high for the neighbourhood.”

“Three stories would be the maximum without wrecking the cityscape of Farwell,” wrote Lisa Pettenuzzo in a letter to council. She also expressed concern about the possible increase in foot traffic through the neighbourhood.

In a letter to council, Fred Beruschi, who is one of the owners of RLDC, wrote the extra height was needed to accommodate the proposed 68-unit hotel.

RLDC owns the Regent Hotel and Best Western Plus.