Ootischenia garage proposal withdrawn

Residents opposed light industrial project in their neighbourhood

  • Jul. 26, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Residents of a neighbourhood in Ootischenia got some good news earlier this month about a proposed industrial development near their properties.

The project’s proponents have withdrawn their application to rezone the property for a commercial vehicle garage.

The developer, 1155596 BC Ltd (Develop123), informed the Regional District of Central Kootenay on July 9 it was pulling its application, says Chris Talbot, the RDCK’s development services administrative assistant.

The developer wanted to demolish a community hall on the a 4.2-hectare (10.5 acres) property at the corner of Columbia Road in Ootischenia and Highway 3, and have it rezoned from institutional to light industrial. They were going to establish a commercial vehicle repair shop and parking lot.

The idea was controversial locally, as residents of a residential suburb across the road opposed the plan. They said any development should be taking the residential character of the area into account.

They also raised concerns about possible pollution from the garage entering the aquifer, as well as light, noise and air pollution from the vehicles.

The protesters got indirect support from the City of Castlegar. City staff said in a report to council in April that they opposed the development location, raising the issue of the project’s proximity to the local airport. They said the proponents should contact Nav Canada before proceeding.

Residents said they were happy to hear the project was being pulled.

“It is very desirable to live and work here,” said David DeRosa, who is raising his children in the same area he grew up. “We need to better planning so we have designated industrial zones where these kind of projects can be supported and not impact why we moved here in the first place.”

While the application is withdrawn, the proponents could re-apply to rezone the property, but not for six months, Talbot says.

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