By David F. Rooney
One of the key issues facing small cities that are under pressure to develop is enforcement.
“The really challenging thing will bve having a bylaw that’s implementable,” says Revelstoke City Planner John Guenther. “It gets very political later on.”
Later on? Development is already political. Just ask anyone concerned about the Center Street condo development in South Revelstoke. The project was strongly opposed by neighbourhood people three years ago and they were mollified only after the developer promised it wouldn’t have a negative impact. Three years on and the development has not been completed and the neighbours are cranky, with one, South Revelstoke Community Group Chairwoman Josie Woodman complaining directly to City Council about, among other things, the way water drains from the development onto neighbouring properties turning their lawns into pools of standing water.
A number of people in the area think the City would like to see their neighbourhood redeveloped and they are skeptical of assertions that the City really does have their best interests at heart.
“It will be interesting to see if they (the new community groups) tell them what we want or if they tell us what we should want,” said one South Revelstoke resident. “I haven’t made up my mind about it yet.”
As far as Guenther is concerned “planning is really a public contract,” that demands honesty and fairness across the board. It also demands that citizens decide what they want in terms of development.
There are people in town who don’t want to see the community change. They like Revelstoke just the way it is and would like to see it preserved — as is — for future generations. But that’s highly unrealistic.
“If you don’t plan for change change will happen to you,” he said in an interview after the Pre-Charette Workshop.
He also noted that residents and City Council “have to hold developers’ feet to the fire” to ensure they actually fulfill their commitments.
Work on the Unified Development Bylaw will continue with possible implementation next fall. A full Charette will be held at a future date.
You can read Are you dreaming of a greener Revelstoke? Part 1 at https://legacy.revelstokecurrent.com//2010/02/02/are-you-dreaming-of-a-greener-revelstoke-part-1.