By David F. Rooney
Revelstokians will be asked to vote in a referendum sometime this year on the controversial Catherwood Road annexation.
Dawn Low, director of Corporate Administration, said in a report to Council on Tuesday, January 24, that the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) petition, which ended on December 16, received a total of 760 signatures. 183 signatures were rejected leaving a total of 577 confirmed signatures, which is over the required 10% threshold.
“The number of elector responses required to prevent Council from proceeding with the boundary extension unless approved by community-wide referendum is 566,” she said. “This report is to inform and certify for Council that elector approval was not obtained as more than 10% of eligible electors in the AAP signed and submitted an elector response form prior to the established deadline date of December 16.”
Council, with the exception of Mayor Mark McKee and Councillor Connie Brothers who had recused themselves from the Council chamber or the discussion, voted unanimously to hold a referendum, which will cost $10,000, on this issue.
The properties in question are:
- A 13-acre piece of land at 3304 Catherwood Road owned by Peter Bernacki, Melinda Bell and Richard Mickle; and
- A 40-acre property at 3452 Catherwood Road owned by David Evans.
The whole annexation proposal proved to be extremely controversial, which much of the battle being waged in The Current. Click on the links below to read the letters:
The controversy even included a written complaint to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District regarding a column written by Area B Director Loni Parker. That complaint was ultimately dismissed by the board as groundless.
What this means is that we can expect to hear more about the annexation in the coming weeks. No date has been set for the referendum, however, Dawn Low said it will be held at the same time as the by-election to select a new trustee to replace Leslie Savage who has moved to Toronto.
David Evans said he was “pleased with the outcome and Council’s decision to proceed with the referendum.”
One of his opponents, Daren Corneliuson, was also happy and suggested the referendum “will reflect what the good people of Revelstoke want.”
However, Loni Parker would prefer not to have the people of Revelstoke subjected to this battle all over again.
“More people than ever signed the counter-petition in this community and I think Council should be listening to them and stopped the process,” she said. “I think it’s a questionable decision.”
Well, now the entire Revelstoke community will get to have their say.
You can watch Council’s discussion of thus issue by activating the YouTube player below at the 33:35 mark: