- Our Town
Directors approve new Area C OCP
After eight often acrimonious years, the South Shuswap has an official community plan.
Directors were unanimous in their decision to pass Bylaw No. 725 putting the OCP into effect at the March 20 board meeting in Salmon Arm.
This OCP updates and replaces the Electoral Area C South Shuswap Official Community Plan and unlike the previous OCP, now covers the entire South Shuswap area including the communities of Tappen, Carlin, Skimikin, White Lake and Sunnybrae.
With adoption of the new OCP comes development permits that act as tools to help protect the environment, avoid development in hazardous areas and set guidelines for form and character of commercial and industrial development.
This is of particular interest to Blind Bay Resort owner Dan Baskill whose development plans were rejected in a tie vote at the January board meeting.
Normally, a developer is permitted to bring an application back only after six months or if there is substantial changes in the application.
Baskill, who has already reapplied, says he has a legal opinion that because his application was defeated by three non-resident directors based on misinformation his application is changed.
The possibility that Baskill or a future resort owner would add fuel sales to the marina and permit houseboats into the busy bay, were cited by directors as reasons for concern.
But Baskill, says that since 2006, he has offered to place a restrictive covenant that would forbid either fuel or boat sales or houseboats from tying up at his dock.
“It has never been part of what was planned,” he says of his resort’s former C6 commercial designation. “We could have had fuel sales and houseboats. There was a boat launch that I could reinstate, but haven’t. They’ve redesigned foreshore uses, however it doesn’t take away historical uses.”
Baskill says another significant change to his development application is the reduction of boat slips from the original 70 to 55 to fit into the new OCP.
As well, he says, Blind Bay Resort leases moorage only on a weekly basis in order to allow public access to the dock and that, except for a few busy weeks in the middle of summer, the dock is used very little.
“When we went to public hearing, I provided a publication, a historical count of boat activity dating back to 2007, and our boat use is well under half of what it was when we took over the property in 2005,” he says. “This is another misdirection by an environmental-leaning group and it flies in the face of what we want to do, the things we are doing are to continue to promote tourism and provide access at the same time doing the job better in terms of our environment.”
Baskill says another substantial change is that he originally offered five per cent of the land on the west side of the resort for a public park.
Now, he has offered to make it a statutory right of way in favour of the CSRD and also will provide five per cent of the land value to the CSRD parks department for development.
Baskill says he has been studying Bylaw 725 to see how his application fits.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt, everything we’re proposing improves the state of the development in terms of environmental impact,” he says. “And that’s actually principal number one. Even the dock, by moving it deeper into the water is very clearly a definite step forward.”
In terms of the public tourism component, Baskill says many people who come to live in South Shuswap, first came as visitors.
“It’s an acceptable form of growth and if we knock off developments, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Whether his new application for a 19-lot subdivision along the waterfront, public access and improved dock area will be accepted or shot down again is something Baskill would like to hear about sooner rather than later.
When the application goes before the board again is dependent on a number of things, says Gerald Christie, manager of Development Services for the CSRD.
Development services staff reviews all applications for their consistency with CSRD bylaws including OCPs.
Even without changes, Christie says that, according to a procedures bylaw, Baskill’s application could be considered by the board within six months if there’s approval to do so by two-thirds of the board.
“We could ask them to consider it as a matter of resolution,” he says. “There’s more to consider within the new OCP.”
If there is no significant change, Baskill would have to ask the board to waive the six-month waiting period for a re-application.
In order for Baskill’s application to be put before the board, staff would need to propose appropriate changes to the OCP.
Then the board would decided whether or not to move the application forward to a public hearing.