Rezoning stalled while council address water concerns

The lot at 5050 Valley Dr. won’t be rezoned yet as SPMRM councillors have concerns with utility capacity. Photo SPMRM.

Two rezoning applications from Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) at Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality’s (SPMRM) council meeting Nov. 20 faced councillors concerned with capacity of water and wastewater utilities.

A motion for the first reading of one rezoning application submitted by SPR failed without a councillor to second it and will be revisited in December.

The application was for 5050 Valley Dr., a lot SPR is in the process of receiving  from the Crown to be rezoned from RR-1 to TA-3 for multi-family housing and tourist accommodation.

When passed, A&T Project Developments will build high density housing with two buildings for a total of 80 units, at least 240 new beds.

The proposed rezoning fits with the Official Community Plan (OCP) but concerns included Sun Peaks Fire Rescue’s (SPFR) ability to reach top units and a sloped parking area which could be too steep for at least one SPFR truck.

SPFR would also not be able to respond within 10 minutes which changes required building and fire codes.

Some councillors’ main concerns were water and wastewater capabilities in the area despite SPMRM staff recommending a voluntary covenant which would prohibit any construction until all concerns are addressed to  their satisfaction.

Councillor Ines Popig raised cautioned against moving forward without completed water modelling and suggested revisiting the application when more information is available.

Modelling is underway and expected to be completed by Christmas.It will provide detailed information on water requirements for current and future construction.

Councillor Darcy Alexander said  the covenant should appease any concerns around water.

“There is no intention of building something the water doesn’t work for,” he stated. “Everybody take a deep breath…Nothing here is unmanageable or un-reconcilable, with the covenant you have complete and total control.”

He continued, explaining the application needed to move forward to a public hearing for planning to continue.

The motion for first reading was moved by Alexander but failed as it did not receive a seconder.

A&T developer Frank Quinn said they are ready to go to market with the project, named Elevation, as soon as rezoning is complete and he is confident any issues will be resolved.

“They’re smart people,” he said. “I have to think that if council, which is a very progressive council, has that concern then it has to be addressed…We have a really great group of people at the municipality and a great group of people at SPR and I’m confident they can work it out.”

Another rezoning application from SPR, for a lot at 1130 Sun Peaks Rd. next to The Burfield, also asked for first and second reading and moved to public hearing.

If rezoned it would change from RR-1 to RC-1 for residential and commercial use. The application comes as Ash Hanna, developer and owner of The Burfield, works on plans to build a multi-family residential development on the site.

The proposed project includes around 11 units with a small amount of commercial space on the ground floor for a food and beverage outlet.

In the OCP the property was designated institutional, originally meant for a city hall, church, school or other public use. That designation is designed to save space for families and employees. Chief administrative officer Rob Bremner said the project will stay within the OCP policy if it provides staff and family accommodation. If a portion of the development isn’t set aside for staff accomodation it would require an amendment to the OCP.

Popig expressed concern at additional commercial space where parking alongside the road can be a challenge.

Other councillors raised initial concerns regarding parking, snow storage and ensuring pedestrians have a safe area to walk.

Popig added she was uncomfortable without the completed water modelling and voted as opposed to all three motions. However the motions passed and the application will move ahead to a public hearing.

SPMRM staff recommended council require SPR to register a voluntary covenant barring construction until concerns are addressed.