Described as ‘exciting’ by Salmon Arm planning staff, a property designated for industrial use for the past 20 years might finally be used for that purpose.
Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, outlined a rezoning application at the city’s Aug. 16 planning meeting for an 18-acre parcel at 4091 Highway 97B SE. Located at the northeastern end of the industrial park adjacent to Highway 97B, it’s designated as general industrial in the official community plan (OCP), but is zoned A2, rural holding.
The applicants, Dane and Catherine Optland, would like to rezone it to M1, general industrial. No discussion occurred at the meeting regarding what kind of industry is planned.
“It’s quite exciting I guess from a planning department perspective,” Pearson said. “We’re seeing some land that has potential for industrial development and use…”
Pearson noted that to the west is industrial development of various sorts and uses, but to the east the two or three large parcels that front onto Highway 97B are still zoned A2.
He said the easy part of the rezoning is the fact it matches the OCP, but the difficult part is that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure does not support the zoning unless access off the highway is completely restricted.
He said an alternative road plan was developed with the assistance of Browne Johnson Land Surveyors before bringing it to the planning committee meeting. It would require collaboration with the adjacent property owner and would meet Auto Road.
The other option is 40th Avenue SE. Pearson said that is a challenge because of steep grades, only 10 metres in width and a portion which has not been upgraded. He said there would be extensive road upgrades and road acquisition from the property to the north to get suitable access to the west.
The process can now proceed through first and second reading, followed by a public hearing and, if approved, third reading. However, fourth reading would only proceed if the transportation ministry gives approval to road plans.
The application will be heard by council on Aug. 23 and a public hearing and third reading, if approved, will be held on Sept. 27.
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