An open house and public hearing are set for the treehouse hotel project following a lengthy council debate last week.
The City of Revelstoke scheduled an open house for July 19 from 5–7 p.m., at the community centre. The official public hearing with take place the following week, on July 26 at 7 p.m. in the community centre.
Council spent more than 30 minutes debating the proposed hotel last week. David and Shelley Evans are looking to re-zone their property on Camozzi Road next to Revelstoke Mountain Resort in order to build a 100–200 unit hotel. Their plan involves at least one main hotel building, with accommodation pods scattered throughout the 18-acre property.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort is vehemently opposing the plan, calling it a “parasitic development.”
Despite that, council voted to give the rezoning application first and second reading last week, with Mayor Mark McKee continuing his opposition.
“I’m concerned that with this change, we’re going much farther than the tree hotel,” McKee said. “I’m concerned we’ll have a disjointed base village at the resort. I’m concerned we’ll have extra competition not only for resort, but for downtown and the highway. I think the proper thing to do would be to support a tree hotel and the rest would be single-family residential.”
The rest of council maintained its support of the project, with the main debate centering on when the public hearing should be held, and whether or not an open house should take place in advance.
Councillor Aaron Orlando pushed for an open house. “I think there’s quite a lot of public interest in this and that it would be beneficial to have something to get people’s questions answered prior to the public hearing,” he said.
McKee wanted the public hearing to be postponed until September, to avoid holding it during summer when many are on vacation. Coun. Connie Brothers echoed that, saying that it could also give some time for the Evans and RMR to discuss their issues. Coun. Gary Sulz also suggested a September hearing.
However, couns. Orlando, Scott Duke and Linda Nixon all argued in favour of having a public hearing as soon as possible.
“I just think we need to bear in mind what our mandate is,” said Nixon. “This is a developer with capital. He’s going to want some lead time this fall to start clearing that land if it goes through so he can get it ready and start building next spring if he can.”
In the end, the open house and public hearing were both scheduled for July. The community will be able to find out more about the project and ask questions about the project at the former; and will be able to provide input at the latter.