A proposed gas station and accompanying developments fuel development discussions on Main Street in Sicamous.
On October 15, the Sicamous Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Sicamous council opposing the development plans on 530 and 534 Main Street, which could include two fast food outlets, a gas station , a convenience store, a restaurant with service and later, a hotel.
The chamber said it wanted to encourage meaningful and creative discussions regarding the proposed development and its impact on Sicamous.
“This development permit application aims to build franchise restaurants drive-thru which by their very nature diminish the growing culinary culture that is developing in Sicamous,” wrote chamber president Victoria Cameron. “The concern is that this proposal will have a direct negative effect downstream for the community, such as closing restaurants during shoulder seasons, which will increase unemployment… and create the appearance that Sicamous is just a shutdown of the road traffic and not a destination. “
The development permit application, from Hemkund Developments, will be on the agenda for the October 27 council meeting, having been discussed at length at district planning and development committee meetings on three occasions; July 14, September 22 and October 13.
The planning and development committee was divided on the recommendation of the issuance of the development permit.
Several residents of Sicamous submitted letters to the council for the October 27 meeting. Dawn and Paul Backs said the development contravened Sicamous’s official community plan – an opinion the chamber also stated in its letter.
“Does Sicamous want to be a carbon copy of all the other communities along the Trans-Canada Highway, with nothing to entice travelers to visit downtown? »Aurore wrote.
Ian Baillie runs two Sicamous restaurants: G&G Kitchen and Tap and the Narrows Smokehouse. He wrote to the board and said allowing the developments would take Sicamous down the wrong path.
“Over the past year, we’ve opened four new restaurants or food trucks in town, all of which offer unique small town experiences, all locally owned. If we fill our freeway with gas bars, convenience stores and fast food behind the wheel, I can assure you that not all current businesses operating in the city will make it, ”Baillie wrote.
Baillie and the chamber expressed concerns about the traffic study provided with Hemkund Developments’ permit application. Among them, that the study was not made during the high season.
Sicamous District staff recommend that Council issue a permit to Hemkund Developments for “the development of the service establishment and repair phase of the development, including gas station and awning, paving, parking, a waste storage enclosure and landscaping “, according to a report by Sarah Martin, urban planner. This phase of development would be located at 530 Main Street.
The report states that the proponent has chosen to divide the development into phases, as there are contaminated site requirements that still need to be met for 534 Main Street. A gas station was located there until 1989.
The second phase of development will see the existing building at 534 Main Street be transformed to accommodate food and beverage businesses. Hemkund Developments is also looking to build a 40- to 50-room hotel and parking lot at the northwest corner of 530 Main Street in the future.
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