Revelstoke council gave the go-ahead to allow a variance request to develop a 5.5-storey hotel in the Farwell neighbourhood, but made no reference to the public input in doing so.
Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Tuesday to support the request, which increases the maximum allowed height on the property to 26.5 metres from 10.5 metres.
“This is just another good news stories of business expanding in Revelstoke and people investing their money and seeing a good future in our city,” said coun. Linda Nixon.
However, no mention was made during the discussion of several letters opposing the height variance request.
The Revelstoke Land & Development Corporation, which owns the Regent and Best Western Plus, is proposing to build a 68-unit hotel on the site, which is bordered by Wright, Benson, First and Second Streets.
Mayor Mark Mckee cited the positives of the development, saying because the developers plan on siting the hotel at northeast corner of the lot, the extra height should have minimal impacts on the neighbours, and was preferable to a motel-style building.
“I think this is going to be a great addition to the community,” he said.
IMAGE: The proposed layout of level one of the hotel. ~ By Eidos Architecture, via the City of Revelstoke
Council received eight e-mails from the public on the variance request, most of which were in opposition or expressed concerns about the proposal.
Sam-Kyu Cho, the owner of the neighbouring Days Inn, opposed the variance, citing concerns about traffic, shading and privacy. He also expressed a worry that an extra hotel, combined with the rise in vacation rentals, would negatively impact business.
Several neighbours expressed concerns about noise and traffic in the area.
David Labonte and Marie-Mai Parent recommended a maximum height of 3.5 storeys, vehicle access only from Wright Street, and a fence along Second and Benson Streets that would block out noise.
Trish Hartwick and Kiley Dare wrote they believed the number of units being proposed “was too many for a residential area.”
“lt will bring too many people into the neighbourhood. We bought in a quiet part of town because that’s what we were looking for, quiet.”
Kathryn Whiteside wrote the hotel, if built as planned, would be a “monstrosity” and “an obvious imperfection in our skyline.”
“People come to Revelstoke not to be bombarded by buildings but rather be engrossed in the mountains and the nature of our surroundings,” she wrote. “We need to be cognizant of this as we plan for the future of our community.”
Letters of support were received from Nicholas Thomas and Peter Humphreys. “I believe it is an efficient use of vacant land in an area that is fully serviced to handle this type of development,” wrote Humphreys, who is developing a motel nearby on Victoria Road.
CP Rail sent in a letter advising the hotel would be close to the railway line, and near a bend in the track where “wheel squeal” was common.
Council made no mention of the public submissions in their discussion, which lasted only a few minutes. When questioned by the media about whether or not council considered the feedback, McKee said, “Absolutely they did, that’s part of their decision making process.”