Mixed reviews on project

Dan Baskill is one step closer to realizing his plans to develop the Blind Bay Resort.

A public hearing held Thursday, Dec. 5 on Baskill’s proposal to have two waterfront properties that are currently zoned single-family dwelling changed to a tourist commercial designation was respectful and allowed both sides to voice their opinions, said staff and politicians who attended the meeting.

Some 140 people attended the hearing, where Baskill was seeking public approval for an official community plan amendment that would allow him to develop his beachfront property from single-family dwelling to a tourist commercial designation that would permit 19 RV sites.

“There were strong arguments both for and against the development,” said Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area C South Shuswap director Paul Demenok. “The arguments against the application were on water quality (sewage), high density development on the waterfront and the impact of the dock.”

Those in favour noted that the Baskills have done a very good job of improving the existing campsite and many in attendance at last week’s meeting felt the development is first-class and upgrades the community.

“It serves as a tourist attraction and a destination,” Demenok said. “Many people who end up buying and living here do so because they came here first as a tourist.”

In terms of the proposed dock expansion that would allow 70 slips instead of the 55 currently permitted in the lake zoning bylaw, Demenok pointed out that by taking the dock into deeper water and further away from fish-rearing habitat it actually is more environmentally friendly.

“People had very strong opinions but respected each other’s opinions and as a consequence it was a positive hearing,” said Demenok, who will consider all public input, both from the meeting and by hundreds of letters and emails received by the regional district before deciding whether or not to support Baskill’s proposed development.

CSRD senior planner Dan Passmore said he estimates about 60 per cent of those who attended supported Baskill.

“We haven’t yet done a full analysis of the speakers or public input, he said, noting the next step will be his report to the board, probably in January.

If directors give Baskill’s proposal third reading, it will then go to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development for approval.


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