Zoning decision cannot be taken lightly

To the editor:
I believe this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.  The long term effects could either help our town or place the community into a long recession.  I’m personally not opposed to more development in the community and would love to see the city help local businesses, but this fast track process isn’t the way.
I was once a business owner and am now a manger at a local business, and I have some concerns:

  1. I feel as though we are putting the cart before the horse on this one.  The population base isn’t big enough to support a larger retail sector.  If we double the permanent population of the town then this addition of retail would make more sense.  A good example about too much competition over a small population is Target.  They quickly went bankrupt in Canada and now in the Vernon mall that location sits empty.  Canadian Tire looked into whether a small store would be feasible and decided against it as the population is too small.
  2. The ability of moving people into the town core from the highway will be greatly diminished.  Once people have what they need they will simply keep driving.
  3. The added congestion around that intersection will be even worse than it already is.  This is an area where accidents are frequent and the problem will only get worse.
  4. Cheaper groceries.  This will only be accomplished if Walmart or a Superstore come to town.  Once again our population is too small for them to even consider Revelstoke.  The price difference is a lot less than it used to be.  There are certain things that aren’t available here, but we do live in a small town. Another grocery store is no guarantee of lower prices!
  5. Retail jobs are not high paying jobs.  For the average person that has a cashiers job, it is not a living wage.  The average wage for such a position is $11.  When people are complaining about more jobs, I think what they are really meaning is that we need more higher-paying jobs.
  6. Finally, I implore Council to take the time to do the proper research and not make any decision based on what a developer says. They will always make their proposal sound like we are missing out if we say no.  From personal experience, the construction industry is only concerned about building and not the long term of this community.  If the city is determined to expand, then look at ways to get more people to move here and the jobs will be created. Please take the time to carefully consider all aspects of this proposal.

Darren Carey
Revelstoke, BC