The Town of Oliver is relaxing one of its own bylaws to accommodate a request for a new power pole in an alleyway.
David Mattes and Victor Dias, owners of 6222 Main Street (formerly Alberto’s Decorating Centre), recently asked council to help them clear a “roadblock.”
The building, which currently houses a bakery and a shoe and clothing store, only has a 200-amp electrical service. But the entrepreneurs want to upgrade the system to 400 amps, which requires another power pole installation at the rear of the building.
This would contravene the Town’s Development and Servicing Bylaw, which states that any new services must be underground.
Director of Operations Shawn Goodsell said they haven’t allowed a power pole in town for as long as he’s been working here.
Goodsell said he didn’t want to set a precedent with this request, but admitted that another pole in this alley would not ruin the aesthetics.
Mattes said he and Dias worked hard to reconfigure and develop this location to benefit the Town. He noted they would like to attract more business to the downtown core, and have tenants wishing to move in.
“At present we are forced to turn off one air conditioning unit to accommodate our current tenants,” Mattes said in a letter. “From a technical perspective we would probably need to evict a tenant to meet current code.”
Mattes said they are prepared to invest $20,000 for the upgrade.
He stated there are many underground services in this alley, but underground service is “cost prohibitive,” he pointed out.
Councillor Maureen Doerr said council should approve the request.
“Allowing a pole is not going to change anything. One more pole is not going to make a difference.”
Council agreed to accommodate the request.
By Lyonel Doherty