CSRD seeks court injunction

West Beach: Directors cite ‘ongoing infractions’ by land developer.

  • Jun. 21, 2011 9:00 a.m.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) is seeking a court injunction to stop any further work at West Beach Village in the North Shuswap until the landowner has obtained all necessary permits from the CSRD.

CSRD Chair Ron Oszust said they’ve exhausted other ways of working with the developer. “As with many situations, staff worked toward finding amenable solutions and sometimes we’re not able to come to that point and hence you move to the next stage or another process.”

Because of the legal action, Oszust was reluctant to get into details but said CSRD is “aware of activities on the site.”

North Shuswap director Denis Delisle said although staff have been “incredibly patient”  there have been “ongoing infractions” and he would like some backup from other levels of government.

“I’m hoping the federal and provincial agencies start doing their jobs and get involved technically and legally to help the CSRD make sure the development is done right.”

West Beach Village has been controversial from the beginning. Developer Mike Rink proposed the 218 residential unit and commercial facility in 2008 but local residents and environmentalists said a development of that size so near the Adams River would impact the world-renowned sockeye salmon run.

In 2009 Rink applied for development permits and was working within the parameters of zoning and official community plan bylaws.

That same year, however, the CSRD contemplated legal action after receiving a petition from residents asking them to stop the development. The residents said Rink was circumventing the zoning and subdivision rules by selling long-term RV leases and condo and home leases under the guise of camping and motel use.

The CSRD received legal advice not to pursue the matter.

In 2010 Rink faced a civil lawsuit from a group of five sub-contractors who claimed Rink never paid them for the work they did at the West Beach site in 2008 and 2009.

The five companies: Westend Shuswap Concrete and Gravel, Engel Electric, Highland Powerlines Ltd., L Coster Land Surveying and Rona Revy, were seeking over $500,000.

Commenting on the current direction to seek a court injunction, Oszust said although enforcement “can be a challenge” the CSRD has a responsibility to the people to enforce regulations.

Delisle said despite patience, the developer is refusing to co-operate.

“We felt we’ve given them every opportunity to deal with us,” said Delisle, “and they haven’t.”