Discussion of a possible expansion of Sicamous’ boundaries has followed an application to develop RV lots on the Hyde Mountain golf course property.
In January, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) received an application from the owners of the golf course for the amendment of a land-use bylaw allowing the subdivision of 151 bare land strata lots on a 16.3 acre portion of property. The lots would be used for the seasonal accommodation of RVs or trailers.
The bylaw amendment would also allow a helicopter tour operation, which started taking off from the golf course last summer, to continue. The business is not in compliance with the zoning for the property.
The regional district approved first reading of the bylaw but requested that the applicant hold a public information meeting in the Hyde Mountain area, and submitted referrals to various governments and agencies.
One of the groups contacted was the District of Sicamous. A staff report attached to the agenda for the district’s March 10 meeting recommended that district council vote to notify the CSRD that the development is consistent with Sicamous’ official community plan (OCP). Council also voted to notify the CSRD that it would be looking into undertaking studies to consider an extension of the district’s boundaries.
Mayor Terry Rysz said the possibility of an expansion was raised by residents of the west side of the channel. A consultants’ study would be needed to better understand a possible expansion’s cost, and Rysz said even if the residents involved were in favour, the provincial government makes the final decision. He said the issue of possibly incorporating the west side of the Sicamous channel into the district boundaries was last studied in 2003 and much has changed since then.
The staff report notes that while Sicamous’ OCP objectives are more focused on commercial development within the district’s existing boundaries, the plan supports development of the Hyde Mountain resort. It states that Sicamous’ status as a resort community relies on recreational opportunities such as boating, snowmobiling and golf, which are outside the district boundaries.
Also noted in the report are the safety implications. It says the district has already been working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to improve vehicle, pedestrian and cycle safety within the district, and wish to expand the discussion to include the Hyde Mountain area. The report recommended referring the application to both the ministry and the Splatsin band. Old Spallumcheen Road, which leads to the golf course, runs through Splatsin IR #3 and joins the Trans-Canada Highway at an already busy intersection making increased traffic a possible concern for both groups.
Fire Chief Brett Ogino notes in the staff report that the subject properties are presently outside Sicamous’ fire protection area.