It’s looking like a Starbucks drive-thru is no longer on the burner for Sicamous.
At a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 29, district council will be discussing an application for a development permit amendment for property at 1305 Rauma Avenue along Highway 1.
Council approved the permit in 2016 for the development of a Centex gas station with a convenience store and drive-thru, which the applicant stated could have been a Starbucks.
Could have, but no more.
The proposal now is for a gas station with gas bar and convenience store only.
The variance involves a request to vary the rear yard property line setback from six metres to 2.27 metres, as the building being proposed has increased in size from 260- to 294 square metres.
Approval of the original development permit involved an hour’s deliberation by council, with public input, much of which revolved around traffic and public safety. Coun. Janna Simons voted against the permit, stressing there are already traffic issues with commercial vehicles parking on the eastbound shoulder of the highway so drivers can walk across to Tim Hortons. Other councillors acknowledged this issue, but were still in favour of the development.
“We’ve been trying to get the Ministry of Transportation to address this issue for two years; they haven’t done anything on it…,” commented Coun. Malcolm Makayev. “It might not be politically correct to say, but I think we have to move forward with this development and use it as leverage to show them there is a problem…”
After that meeting, council asked that district staff give council a heads up on future commercial applications in order to be better prepared to answer questions from the public.
“In this particular case, I feel we were blindsided by it,” said Coun. Colleen Anderson, referring to the Centex application and the discussion it sparked within the community around the highway and public safety. Anderson said council should have had an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons prior to the application coming before council.
If the variance is approved, the developer plans to have the gas station/convenience store open by spring 2018.