By David F. Rooney
Revelstoke may be about to receive its third grocery store and pharmacy, although who those retail outlets maybe is as yet unknown.
During its regular meeting on Tuesday, July 14, City Council will be asked to approve a zoning bylaw amendment sought by Hall Pacific Enterprises to permit construction of what could eventually be another retail mall, this time off the Trans-Canada Highway, that will include a supermarket and pharmacy. The location in question is owned by Big Bend Enterprises and was originally envisioned by entrepreneur Steve Platt as the future home of a conference centre, hotel and retail development.
Little is publicly available on the Internet about Hall Pacific Enterprises Inc. It was incorporated by the Registrar of Companies as a BC business on July 7, 2011, and it has a website, built by GoDaddy, at hallpacific.com. The registered owner of the website is listed as Fraser Hall.
The Official Community Plan identifies the subject properties for development as “automobile focused commercial development.”
In a report to Council, Development Services Manager Dean Strachan says the proposed development would meet the objectives of the OCP for the subject designation.
“The intent of commercial development on the highway corridor is to create services and amenities that would assist in drawing the travelling public off the TCH,” he wrote. “It is intended to assist in making Revelstoke a travel destination and/or a stop for immediate services that results in a longer stay or results in the traveller coming back to stay longer at a future time.
Strachan says the development “would likely result in an increase in community commercial activity as additional dollars currently moving along the highway corridor would be pulled into the community.” It might even help reverse the Shopping-Out-Of-Town drain on retail spending by persuading people to stay home and spend their money here, rathern than in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops
While that may well prove to be true, Strachan noted in his report that the Advisory Planning Commission has some specific concerns:
- That the OCP policies do not support for this type of Commercial Use;
- About impacts on policies and goals for reducing green house gas omissions;
- That the proposal does not include mixed use;
- About the lack of walkability, meaning it would require higher reliance on automobiles;
- The de-centralization of retail and commercial from downtown core;
- About public assembly use outside of the downtown core; and
- Concerns regarding additional traffic on Mutas Intersection and Bend Road.
For additional information about this issue, please click here to listen to the July 10 EZ Rock’s Mayor’s Report during which Mayor Mark McKee discusses the development with Shaun Aquiline.
Please click here to read Dean Strachan’s complete report to Coucnil.