The developers behind a proposed commercial building that will include a Dairy Queen will be coming back to Sicamous council for a development variance.
In December 2021, district council approved a development permit for 907 Trans-Canada Frontage Road. The application was submitted last June by Amar Kallu on behalf of a numbered company, 1269058 B.C. LTD.
The developer plans to construct a commercial building to accommodate the food and beverage service establishment, retail sales including a convenience store and liquor store, and an employee dwelling unit on the second floor.
A development variance permit accompanying the development permit pertained to a reduction to the minimum width of a landscaped buffer and a slight reduction to the rear setback.
The variance did not include anything related to the provision of services including curb and gutter.
The need for those services sparked a lengthy discussion on Aug. 24 at a district planning and development meeting.
Development services manager Scott Beeching explained the scale of development triggers the district’s subdivision development servicing bylaw.
“It requires…certain services be provided,” said Beeching. “One of those is an upgrade of the road. The standard in the current subdivision servicing bylaw requires sidewalk, curb and gutter on that property.”
With Kallu attending by camera, discussion at the committee meeting revealed there may have been a misunderstanding about the provision of those services based on a revised subdivision servicing bylaw staff is working on – one that does not trigger the need for the curb and gutter at the development’s location.
“Amar had some advice from staff that we’re working on a new subdivision servicing bylaw and it doesn’t include curb and gutter, so Amar moved forward with his plans to develop the property without curb and gutter,” said Beeching.
He added when it was realized the servicing is still needed in order to proceed with the building permit, “that’s when he became aware that a variance would be required as that new bylaw hasn’t come into effect yet.”
Kallu didn’t blame anyone, noting his workers didn’t ask about the variance, “nor was it mentioned, so we just went along…”
But he did express a desire to move things quickly.
“This is like a small snap and it’s going to cost a little bit of time,” said Kallu. “I just want to move forward with scheduling trades and stuff like that.”
Committee members urged Kallu and staff to have everything ready so the variance can be on the agenda for the Sept. 28 council meeting for approval.
Committee chair Coun. Jeff Mallmes suggested he and Coun. Gord Bushell could work with staff on the requirements, so “most likely you would get a favourable vote for your variance.”
Beeching respectfully reminded the committee that it “doesn’t actually direct staff to do things.”
“This committee offers advice to council and then council directs staff,” said Beeching.
“I understand what you’re saying and I think it’s important we work towards the same goals. This is more of a technical process. Staff wants to work with Amar, we want to see this development go forward.
“We don’t need a lot of direction from this committee to do that.”
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