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Posted: January 29, 2020

Variance spurs note of caution from councillor

By Stephanie Stevens

While at first glance there seems to be land aplenty in the Columbia Valley, land zoned for commercial and light industry is less plentiful, and what is considered a good use of said land is in the eye of the beholder.

At the regular scheduled meeting Jan. 14, District of Invermere council approved a variance to a side yard setback on Industrial Road #3 from 4.5 metres to three metres on the rear yard and from three metres to 2.5 metres on the side yard.

The applicant, Rocky Peak Enterprises, requested the variance to ensure the tent structure it plans to erect is within the setbacks. The prefabricated structure, which will be used for boat storage, would go over the original setbacks slightly.

While the variance is not significant and was passed unanimously, one councillor did so with a few words of caution.

Coun. Gerry Taft

Councillor Gerry Taft said while the use of the land does fit the zoning, he said with future potential rezoning in the downtown core and Althalmer, council needed to keep in mind not only zoning and permitted use but whether that use will carry the potential creation of employment.

“We when talk about what we want to see in terms of light industry, I think it is important to point out that a boat storage facility is not likely to create a lot of jobs,” said Taft. “I support the application, but philosophically, this is not good use of the land and I think it will probably be ugly.”

Earlier in the meeting the council voted to amend the zoning at 204 Third Avenue in Athalmer from C2 gateway commercial to C1 downtown commercial to accommodate a new medical business with permitted residential suites available above ground level.

Lead image: Part of the Athalmer Industrial Park in Invermere. e-KNOW file photo


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