Reader is already thinking about the Catherwood annexation referendum

To the Editor:

I understand it’s early days in the referendum campaign but, given the tenor of these times, perhaps it’s never too early to widen the discussion.  I’d like to get voters thinking about Revelstoke’s experience with all four sites the Evans have in various stages of development because I find myself in unfamiliar territory – understanding and supporting the analysis published by the owners of RMR.

Following the Evans’ version of the Yellow Brick Road to glom onto, or sidestep perhaps, the MDA reached after so much effort between the city and the original resort developers led me a resting point.  Point 23 was where I finally got it – my ‘Eureka!’ moment was so intense I wanted to find a way to engage others in considering if their thinking could be closer to the truth than anything else circulating.

So, here it is – Point 23 – what do you think?  I’ve bolded the parts that particularly spoke truth to me …

“23. We have over 200 acres of land which is already serviced (at our cost), zoned and available for development.  If the Applicant wants to build a tree pod hotel why doesn’t he do it on the already zoned Resort lands and in accordance with the OCP and MDA?  The answer is inherent in his business strategy; compete unfairly by buying rural lands not zoned for high density development, requiring little investment to service (thanks to investment by the Resort) thereby giving him a distinct competitive advantage.  Should the rezoning occur there will be other proposals to rezone rural parcels or lands for high density development, just like the subject application, any of which will significantly devalue the Resort lands.  This was never contemplated by anyone ever.”

Is it that walking any road is a series of steps that convinced this Council to rezone the proposed Treehouse property or properties and confer its blessing on some newly created consolidated entity?  Let’s not think of each step as independent, please!!  This road is a unit tho we may have forgotten its beginning or may not know where it will end – it too requires dilligent maintenance in my opinion just as our asphalt ones do!

My contention is that we should all read this letter again – can be found online at http://www.cityofrevelstoke.com/documentcenter/view/2317 – running from page 29 to 36 but I am unable to copy any of the text so have retyped for inclusion here.  The whole folder looks to be worth a reread in this runup to the Referendum that will be held Heaven knows when.

However, I am able to electronically copy a letter from the Provincial government in that same folder – here’s a supportive voice for taking time to make sure our civic steps lead away from perdition and towards the goal we all really want  (again with emphasis added by me):

“This letter is in response to the referral we received for rezoning and for an OCP amendment for Lot 1 NEP11177 (Camozzi Road.) We note the Lot 1 is located adjacent to the Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) Development Area and that the proposed changes are being made in order to permit the development of a destination hotel accommodation area with self-contained detached accommodation pods, hostels, and/or hotels. As you may know RMR has an approved Master Development Agreement (MDA) with the Province which is administered by the Mountain Resorts Branch (MRB) from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). As per the FLNRO All Seasons Resort Policy, the ability to “earn” bed units is tied to the creation of uphill and downhill skier capacity through the establishment of costly infrastructure. Once the developer constructs the recreational infrastructure on Crown Land then they are rewarded with the ability to purchase Crown Land for commercial and/or residential purposes. The ability of a third-party developer to construct commercial accommodation immediately adjacent to the resort, without having been made to develop costly infrastructure, may provide an unfair competitive advantage. MRB encourages the exploration of partnership opportunities between RMR and other new development projects that are complementary with the approved Resort Master Plan.”

I look forward to reading the other 200 pages in the 2317 folder but this is enough for a start if any of our Editors think it worthy of publication … let’s not waste the time between petition and Referendum – $10,000 is trivial compared with what a misstep may eventually cost us.

Yours truly,

Victoria Long
Revelstoke, BC

 

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