The municipal process is underway for the construction of a new commercial/residential building on Main Street.
Sicamous’ mayor and council have given their approval for the creation of a bylaw that would allow the development of a commercial/ residential structure at 213 Main Street.
According to Sicamous community planner Steve Noakes, the applicant, Bip Thind, is proposing to construct a three-storey building. Planned for the main floor is a 180-seat food and beverage establishment. Multi-family residential, (potentially three units) is proposed for the second floor. The third floor, if constructed, is also being considered for commercial use.
Required by this proposal is a rezoning of the property from C1–Town Centre Commercial to C1A – Town Centre Commercial Residential. The differences between the two are nominal, says Noakes.
“What essentially this will do by rezoning is increase the building envelope by reducing building setbacks,” says Noakes. “Lot number, building height and all those requirements remain the same. The number of uses and the types of permitted uses are really similar. Really, this is an application in respect to what the proponent is proposing for the property.”
in addition, the applicant has requested a variance in the parking requirements for the C1 zone, in relation to a food and beverage use. The C1 zone requires one parking stall for every three seats. The applicant has asked this be changed to one stall for every five seats, and a floor plan by the applicant shows 39 parking spaces and a loading area, as opposed to the 63 spaces required.
Noakes and staff do not support this request. Instead, they recommended the 3 to 1 ratio be maintained, and that the zoning be amended to exempt outdoor patio seating from parking requirements.
“The feeling there is we are a resort town, those outdoor areas are probably only open during the summer months or the more seasonal months, and there’s more walk-in and bicycle traffic, and that will reduce our needs in this particular application,” said Noakes.
Noakes went on to say that Armstrong makes a similar allowance for patio seating and that he was not aware of any issues there, adding he is hopeful there will be no issues in Sicamous.
Mayor Malcolm MacLeod said the proposal looked great, while Coun. Charlotte Hutchinson was even more exuberant in her remarks.
“I was very excited when I read this – I think this could be absolutely wonderful,” said Hutchinson. “I think it’s a great step forward and if we don’t have enough parking spaces, this is only one project and we’ll see how it works out and deal with it after that.”