Revelstoke Crossing public hearing standing room only

Comments from the second public hearing on the Revelstoke Crossing shopping centre development

Bill Shuttleworth speaks at the public hearing on the Revelstoke Crossing shopping centre proposal.

We’re at the public hearing on the Revelstoke Crossing open house. Here are some comments so far:

George Buhler

“I am for the re-zoning.”

“I strongly believe that development will benefit Revelstoke. It will create temporary and permanent jobs and create growth for Revelstoke. It will send a message to other developers that Revelstoke is a friendly place to develop. This will create growth that will benefit all residents and business.”

Cindy Pearce (speaking on behalf of Geoff Battersby):

“It’s wrong to state this development is compatible with the Official Community Plan (OCP).”

“Council clearly has a legitimate legal reason to oppose this development based on the OCP.”

“It’s not the city job to protect existing business but having a business-friendly attitude with existing businesses is paramount because they are a bird in the hand.”

“The worst case scenario is a mall development that fails to meet its objectives and we’re left with a half-empty mall and a half-empty downtown.”

Stacey Lamont, owner of Your Office & Arts Centre

“The real question on the table is where we want to anchor the community. If we accept the rezoning and start anchoring our community on the highway, it will hurt the downtown core. 100 per cent of communities that allow this fringe development, the downtown core will suffer.

Mark Gunner

“I hope council can still say they listened to the goals of this community by opposing this development.”

Bill Shuttleworth

“I personally enjoy knowing the actual owner of the store or business I’m dealing with. For example, compare the community support from the Credit Union to what we receive from the three major banks in town. That’s local versus chain.”

“I say the right development is out there. We don’t have to change our plans to accommodate this one. There will be others that will develop something the community thinks is suitable.”

Steven Cross, owner of Revy Outdoors

“This is not growth council, this is displacement. Why would council want to see that possibility?”

“The problem is the zoning, not the high-level goals.”

Steven Hui, owner of Pharmasave

“I can honestly say I did not predict the emotions. The frustration and anger tells me there’s a disconnect. I think city council needs to look at this and look at the values and priorities of the community.”

Gary Starling, former city councillor

“This opportunity for development will bring a lot of things to our community. It brings first and foremost tax revenue that’s badly needed here. We need to bring more people into the community, we need jobs. We need good paying jobs, construction jobs. Those will come with this development.”

Are we going to expand, or are we going to stay stagnate at 7,000 people forever?”

Michael Brooks-Hill, past mayoral candidate

“I would really like to have seen some type of study done on this topic.”

“This development runs contrary to the OCP, which is the plan that has been developed over 20 years, from residents who have been here all their lives.”

“When a developer comes to town and says he has an idea that’s going to make a lot of money, but he can’t find any evidence that it will be good for your town, why would we support it?”

Elmer Rorstad, owner of Free Spirit Sports

“It is not the correct development for Revelstoke. It is not compatible with our OCP, which we took a long time and had major input by almost every individual.”

“This mall will be a white elephant. It won’t be able to maintain the occupants. It will have a rotating door until we end up with it 50 per cent full, or less.”

Steve Bender, former city concillor

“I support wholeheartedly development at Reveltsoke Crossing and everywhere else in Revelstoke. If you don’t move ahead, you move back.”

“I support with reservations a mall at Revelstoke Crossing, however I don’t support the use changes in the zoning the developer demands for this projects.”

“It seems apparent an impact study,which should be a must, is not being considered on such a pivotal decision that will impact Revelstoke forever.”

“You cannot allow developers to design your city.”

Robert Powadiuk, developer

“We’re hearing a bunch of hunches, opinions and gut feelings so far. I’m in favour of getting a lot more data. It’s available, it’s on the Internet.”

“Council and mayor, please listen to your constituency.”

Lew Hendrickson, owner of Vic Van Isla, Lortap and Rona

“How are we going to keep our kids in town if we keep not doing anything?

“I find it somewhat unfair we talk about the Revelstoke business community as being the downtown. What about the rest of the businesses that aren’t downtown? Where’e the consideration for us?”

“I think we have to come to realization that the town needs to grow, or its going to die. I would really like my kids to be in this town and enjoy the things that I have over the years.”

Ashton Thibeault

“We need to make sure its the right development and not to buy into the fear tactics that our town will die if it doesn’t grow.”

David Lafreniere, owner of People’s Pharmacy

“I don’t think we’ll see more competition. We’ll see the same amount of competition, but with different banners.”

“It’s our job to make sure these developments are fitting with what we as a community want.”

Glen O’Reilly, designer

“If we want to be a resort town, we’re not going to get there by building a strip mall with a four acre parking lot.”

“We need a presence on the highway. We don’t have that. this is not a presence on the highway. It’s turning its back on the highway.”

“Building a strip mall isn’t going to grow population. All its going to do is create employment that will pay minimum wage for people who can’t find housing as it is.”

Rob Lamont

“Look at the data. Understand we don’t want this. there’s some people that to do, and I welcome their wantingness (sic), but this is he wrong development, it’s the wrong place.”

Neil Jones, owner of Trans-Canada Fitness

“We don’t want the dollar to go to the man, we want it to go to the young people that are coming to this town.”

Kai Bogghild

“Revelstoke is different is because its a community. We need to make sure we’re not losing sight of that. The economics are important, but only insofar as they support the community.”

Nadine Cameron

“Putting this development up on the highway, it might look pretty for a little while, but it won’t last.”

Tony Morabito

“It’s about time we broke the good ol’ boys network and got things moving here.”

Kurt Pont

“Just because they’re going to build a mall, this town will not lose its vibrancy.”

“I will support my businesses downtown. From the sounds of what everybody said here tonight, so will the rest of you.”

“When you run a race and you’re the only one in it, the chances are you’re going to win without too much difficulty. Add a few more runners, and you’ll have to train harder to win that race. That’s what I implore the businesses in town to do.”

Peter Bernacki, owner of Nu-Trend Construction

“I am for the development. We’ve got to grow.”

“I want to ask the whole city and Revelstoke to back council and mayor in their decision.”

Tom Kent

“I simply say to you, when you make your decision, do you want to be like everybody else?”

Bill MacFarlane, former city councillor; school board trustee

“We worked to build that vision that there was something unique about Reveltsoke and we wanted to make sure we did something to prove that point, and I think we did.”

“We all want (development) in some for or another, but it needs to be done in a way that benefits the community. It needs to give it that attractiveness that attracts people here.”

“Are we going to abandon the vision that we set for this community, which said come to Revelstoke, come stay in Revelstoke, or do we abandon it for one that says, come visit us on the highway, but keep going?”

George Buhler

“All I can say to these people is this: I hope you continue to shop downtown. If you all shop downtown, this guy won’t last long anyway, so don’t worry about him.”

“I don’t see why people are so worried. Let the guy do a good job, and if he does’nt do a good job, then he won’t be here long.”

“If you do it right and you continue to be fair, then people will continue to shop in your store. I have no reason to believe anyone will have a difficulty because of the strip mall.”

John Netzel

“I don’t understand what the strip mall is going to do to benefit the town in general, let alone the downtown core.”

Sasha Walsh

“You’re not going to get a grocery store or pharmacy store that is going to be cheaper than Costco.”

“If you’re going out of town, you’re going to take an opportunity to shop out of town. Shopping out of town is going to happen.”

“Dare to be different. Lets stick to our plan.”

Anna Minten

“I can’t see my children having good jobs from this. I can’t see my children prospering.”

David Lafreniere

“Steven Hui could crush me like a bug, but he doesn’t because he’s a mentor and friend. He realizes that small local businesses are vital to our community.”

“The only way to make these work is to be predatory, and we don’t allow that in our community.”

Olymp Astra

“All we have to do is fix up the road so that people come into town. Fix that trail so that people can come and say, wow.”

Cindy Pearce

“What I observe is we have all said we’re committed to development, and we want to be open for business. Frankly, we’re not ready for business. We don’t collectively understand the development process.”

“We need, tomorrow, to go back and figure out how we’re all going to learn how the development process works so we don’t befuddle another development like Hall Pacific.”

“We need to develop that property on the highway. It’s a prime piece of real estate and it doesn’t do any benefit the way  it is right now.”

“I can’t be convince that the current bylaw amendment is going to lead us to that outcome, so I must ask you to opposed the bylaw.”

Toria Long

“I don’t know who I’m talking to. I see the face of the proponent, but I don’t see the persons who have signed an agreement with him to lease space.”

“I don’t know who these people are. I don;t think anyone knows who they are. I want to know who they are if they’re going to be my neighbours and affect my town.”

Michael Spaull, development manager for Hall Pacific

“This development targets highway development. There’s a lot of people that want to experience downtown Revelstoke. That’s not going to change.”

“Hall Pacific will work with city staff, council, the chamber, to bring a project to the community with long-term benefits for all.”

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