The second development phase of a proposed Hemkund Developments project would see the existing building at 534 Main St., Sicamous, be transformed to host food and beverage businesses. (File photo)

The second development phase of a proposed Hemkund Developments project would see the existing building at 534 Main St., Sicamous, be transformed to host food and beverage businesses. (File photo)

Sicamous council slows down permit application for fast food, gas bar development

Application referred back to planning committee which will meet with developer

Sicamous council has said not so fast to a fast food development.

A gas bar and accompanying food service development proposed for Main Street in Sicamous has been tabled for the time being.

To be located at 530 and 534 Main St., the development may include two fast food establishments, a gas bar, a convenience store, a sit-in restaurant and later, a hotel.

A development permit application was submitted to the district by Hemkund Developments. Sicamous council discussed the application at its Oct. 27 regular council meeting before tabling a motion to issue a permit for “the development of the service and repair establishment phase of the development, consisting of a gas bar and canopy, paving, parking, waste storage enclosure and landscaping.”

Council supported a motion to refer the application back to the district’s planning and development committee, so that a meeting on-site with the developer could be arranged.

Coun. Gord Bushell said the meeting would be very beneficial, and council thanked the developer for their understanding.

Before discussion on the development ended, Coun. Colleen Anderson said she’d heard many concerns from the public and understands them.

“It’s getting a little archaic, building gas stations as we move to an electric world,” she said. “Fast food is a roadblock, its not inviting people to our community. It doesn’t drive people down Main Street, it redirects them.”

Anderson suggested sharing Sicamous residents’ letters and concerns with the developer at the on-site meeting, in the hopes that a compromise or fresh look for the development can be realized.

The Sicamous Chamber of Commerce, as well as multiple Sicamous residents, submitted letters in opposition to the development prior to Oct. 27’s council meeting.

Residents Dawn and Paul Backs claimed the development is in contravention of Sicamous’ official community plan — an opinion shared by the chamber.

“Does Sicamous want to be a carbon copy of every other community along the Trans-Canada Highway, with nothing to entice travelers to visit the downtown core?” wrote Dawn.

Ian Baillie runs two Sicamous restaurants: G&G Kitchen and Tap and the Narrows Smokehouse. He wrote to council and said allowing the developments will take Sicamous down the wrong path.

“In the past year we have had four new restaurants or food trucks open up in town, all of them offer unique small town experiences, all are locally owned. If we fill our highway with gas bars, convenience stores and fast food drive-thrus, I can assure you not all the current businesses operating in town will make it,” wrote Baillie.

Read more: Sicamous chamber, residents fear fast food franchise development would hurt district

Read more: KFC, Burger King proposed for Main Street in Sicamous


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