If you have your heart set on rezoning a piece of property in Oliver, you might be disappointed.
James Hodge found this out last week when Town council turned down third reading and final adoption of his application.
James and his wife Catherine, owners of Apple Beach RV Park, wanted to change the zoning from tourist commercial to low density residential in order to accommodate a 10-lot subdivision.
They say the campground is no longer financially viable.
At a public hearing last week, council heard from one part-time neighbour who opposed the application, saying she wanted to keep the area pristine without adding new homes at that end of the lake.
The woman raised a concern about the impact that construction (dust) would have on the lake environment.
But Catherine said any work would be overseen by a riparian officer who would ensue that safeguards were in place to stop dust from blowing onto the lake.
Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes asked staff if they could defer their decision until after the Town’s review of its Official Community Plan (OCP).
Chief Administrative Officer Heidi Frank said if any additional information is received the Town would be required to hold another public hearing. However, she advised council that it could approve the application and simply incorporate it into the new OCP.
Councillor Maureen Doerr said she was going to stick her neck out and make the motion that council support the application.
But fellow councillor Jack Bennest reminded council that its planner recommended the application be denied, with the concern that the Town would be losing a tourist commercial zone.
“I highly recommend not rushing a major change to the OCP and zoning on the lake . . . I cannot support the motion,” Bennest said.
However, Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger said the campground is not generating business activity.
“Turning them down and saving it as a tourist commercial property would not do the Town any good.”
Hovanes said he had really hoped that more people would have commented at the public hearing in order to give council a broader view of the community.
The motion was defeated, with Hovanes, Bennest and Councillor Petra Veintimilla opposed.
James Hodge said he was disappointed with the outcome, noting he spent $9,559 on preparing the application for council.
He also believes that letters supporting their application should have been read at the public hearing, but they were ignored.
James said they will continue to explore other options for the property, such as a youth hostel and/or youth campground.