By David F. Rooney
Councillor Gary Sulz took time this week to sit down with EZ Rock’s Shaun Aquiline and me to explain in depth what motivated him to vote against the zoning amendment sought by Hall Pacific so it could built its $20 million highway mall.
Sulz had voted for the amendment when Council first considered it more than a month ago and, at the time, he believed many, many Revelstokians were in favour of the project. He paid a price for that and faced hostility from some shopkeepers who were dead-set against the development. Despite that, he kept an open mind about the project for weeks until he gradually began to see that it was not the right kind of development project for Revelstoke.
That increasing scepticism solidified in a very dramatic at the November 24 Public Hearing at the Community Centre when he asked the crowd of about 300 people to raise their hands if they wanted the mall. Only a handful raised their hands, but when he asked how many opposed it, a forest of hands flew into the air.
Just to be sure about their motivation, Sulz asked the crowd to raise their hands if they wanted new economic development. Almost everyone raised their hands. That moment spelled the end for the proposed mall and Hall Pacific, whose owner had openly told City Council he would not build anything Revelstoke did not want pulled out altogether.
This was a event and its aftermath was difficult for the thoughtful first-time Councillor and he is very candid about it. Please activate the audio player below to listen to this two-part interview: