Letter: Hoteliers say Farwell hotel height decision unfair

Council's vote on Farwell hotel height unfair to surrounding businesses, hotel owners write.

Editor,

(The following is an open letter to the City of Revelstoke, re: Revelstoke council approves Farwell hotel height, Mar. 8, 2016):

This is to write on behalf of the three business parties that are composed of Days Inn & Suites, Gateway Inn and Monashee Lodge.

We acknowledge through the Revelstoke Review that council has approved the proposed Farwell hotel height variance. We are all surprised at such an immediate decision right after receiving submissions, and that the city has given no chance to collect any more public opinion by means of a public hearing. The press reported the city received eight e-mails, and six of the eight raised objections or concerns.

We certainly believe the alteration to change the height to 26 metres (versus the 10 metre limit in the zoning) is a significant modification that will impact all the neighbouring residents, the pre-school, the park and, of course, the business owners.

In this regard, we want to deliver our regret to council and the city about the decision, and take this opportunity to ask the following.

— We request council change the bylaw to allow heights to 26 metres in this zone.

— If it is not possible to change the bylaw itself, we duly urge council to guarantee the same approval to any application for alteration that may arise in the coming five years.

— By all means, we trust that any of the parties asking for the same alteration should be treated in the same manner and should not face a question of fairness.

The reasons why we raise the issue of fairness is attributed to the following two cases:

— Gateway Inn tried to build up more storeys but did not succeed. It happened six years ago when William Zhao applied, but was turned down with the reason being the breaching of the bylaw.

— Days Inn & Suites has tried to build a signage board on Victoria Road but could not get an approval either. It happened 1.5 years ago, when Sam Kyu Cho contacted the city, but it was not accepted with the reason that it breached the sign bylaw. It was added that if the city allows it, the other business parties may ask same, which is not acceptable.

We know the city and the residents want change, and this Farwell hotel project will bring more opportunity. By the same token, we believe the same chance should have given to the shopping centre, that did not get a green light, and also our applications. Those cases were treated differently — why?

We really want to emphasize that everyone should obey and respect the law. The law is made to protect everyone’s rights, and no one can break the law and be special. If you think the law is not right, we have to change the law for everybody, not just for one person.

Lastly, we would like to raise a question to all of your members: “Would you agree to build a 5.5-storey building right in front of your house or business?”

We even wonder if any of you gave a thought to the concerns about:

— The influence on the pre-school from increasing traffic;

— The impact to the park by any drunk people.

We would like council to consider our position and let us live on the same terms and conditions in this city.

Thank you.

Sam Kyu Cho, Days Inn & Suites

William Zhao, Gateway Inn

Dean Lemon, Monashee Lodge

 

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