A proposed development for an industrial area near Malakwa has regional district staff and board members at odds.
The proposed amendments are for the property at 3410 Oxbow Frontage Road, near Yard Creek in Electoral Area E (rural Sicamous, Malakwa and Swansea Point). The applicant is proposing to re-designate the property from Industrial (ID) to Resort (RT) and rezone from Industrial 2 (ID2) to Comprehensive Development E8 (CDE8) to create a mixed-use resort.
At the Feb. 16 board meeting, staff recommended these amending bylaws be denied first reading, but the board chose to give them first reading, with direction for staff to continue consultation and refer the application to all applicable agencies and Indigenous groups.
Requested reports included a servicing brief addressing water and sewer services, a preliminary hydrogeological assessment and an updated site plan, along with results of the April 20 public meeting regarding the property.
The proposal was brought back to the June 15 meeting for second reading. Although the requested reports were brought with the application, indicating overall approval with the requirements of an environmental site assessment from Splatsin, a source evaluation and construction permit for a domestic water system from Interior Health, as well as some conditions to a preliminary one-year approval for rezoning from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, staff recommended the proposed amending bylaws be denied second reading as well.
The full reports can be found with the CSRD’s board meeting minutes and reports on its website.
The reasons for staff’s recommendation involve the electoral area’s official community plan (OCP), which prioritizes industrial revitalization and takes into account specific property’s historical uses, said staff.
The staff report notes the property is zoned specifically for heavy industrial use, including vehicle wrecking, manufacturing and aggregate sales, and adds a resort is not considered compatible. Area E has limited industrial land space, staff said, and compromising that availability could have negative long-term effects on the local economy. The OCP encourages residential density increasing in the Malakwa Village Centre, not in surrounding areas, and doesn’t support the creation of new shared interest developments, said staff.
A few changes came with the proposal on June 15, applicable to the request to amend Bylaw 841-07 which affects the zoning. Changes include increasing the number of residential share spaces in the development area from 56 to 58, said staff, and decreasing the camping spaces from 27 to 12. As well, the applicant proposed to add ‘seasonal dwelling unit’ as a permitted use in development area 2, make minor adjustments to the size of the development areas and update the map. Proposed amendments to Bylaw 840-3, affecting the OCP, remain unchanged.
Electoral Area E director Rhona Martin said while she can see all sides of the proposal, she wanted it to be given second reading so all members of the public can be informed. Martin added the public meeting held in April had people attend who don’t necessarily live near the industrial property.
Martin put forward a motion for the bylaw amendments to be given second reading, noting existing businesses may want to have their concerns heard as well. The motion to deny second reading was defeated and one to grant second reading was carried.
“This is no disrespect to staff, you are defending things [in the OCP] that I’ve been part of putting in place,” said Martin.