A proposal for a boutique ski lodge near Revelstoke Mountain Resort has been rejected by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
“The board voted in favour of the motion from the staff not to have second reading,” Loni Parker, the director for Area B Rural Revelstoke, told the Review.
The regional district board of directors voted on the recommendation at its meeting last Thursday, Oct. 15.
The move essentially kills the application by the Hansford family to turn their newly-built home on Leidloff Road into a five-bedroom luxury ski lodge.
The lodge was built by the Hansford family last year, but it was only after they finished construction that they asked for the property to be re-zoned for commercial use.
The application was met with resistance from area residents, who, at an open house in August, opposed both a proposed heli-pad and the fact the owners built the lodge first, then sought re-zoning later.
The heli-pad was dropped from the application, but the latter issue played a role in the the board’s vote. The Area B Advisory Planning Commission cited that as a concern when they recommended the CSRD reject the application.
“You’re zoned for rural family residential and really, should you build it and come and get forgiveness?” said Parker. “There was a sentiment against allowing for that.”
Barry Janyk, a consultant who has been working with the Hansfords on the application, said they weren’t surprised by the decision.
“The APC was fairly blunt in their assessment of the failings of the project,” he said. “We anticipated what happened on Thursday. It’s sad, it’s disappointing, but it’s not unexpected.”
He said the family will now explore its next options, though nothing is planned in the short term. “We’re going to go back to the neighbours and apologize for the errors that were made at the onset and see if we can mend fences and prove to the rest of the neighbourhood the family is serious about trying to be good neighbours, and indicate that an operation like they’re proposing is not incongruous to the rest of the neighbourhood,” he said.
A CSRD staff report says the neighbourhood should undergo a planning process before it begins to allow commercial use. The Area B Official Community Plan calls for the neighbourhood to eventually transition into resort use, however the report from planner Dan Passmore says, “the planning work necessary for establishing transition guidelines has not been done, and therefore a proposal to develop complementary resort related support accommodation infrastructure would appear to be premature.”
The issue is complicated by the fact the neighbourhood is contemplating joining the City of Revelstoke in order to access its water system. The Thomas Brook system is on a boil water advisory and property owners have until 2018 to upgrade it. They are leaning towards joining the city, however no formal annexation request has been made.
“[Planning] will be a discussion that will have to take place when there’s an actual request from the residents on that street if they want to join the city or not,” said Parker. “That discussion will happen at the time.”