A petition to block the annexation of two properties on Catherwood Road into the City of Revelstoke has succeeded by the narrowest of margins.
According to a report to council, 760 signatures were collected on a petition against the annexations that was spearheaded by Daren Corneliuson and Andy Parkin. Out of those, 183 were rejected, leaving 577 valid signatures — 11 more than the threshold of 566 that was needed to stop the annexation.
The results of the petition were certified by Dawn Low, the city’s director of corporate administration.
The application was to have two properties totalling 53 acres in size, one owned by David Evans and the other owned by Peter Bernacki, Melinda Bell and Richard Mickle, annexed to the city so they could access city services in order to facilitate future development.
The properties are part of the Agricultural Land Reserve and this was the first step in a lengthy process to develop the properties.
Corneliuson led the opposition, saying the properties were valuable agricultural land that shouldn’t be developed. He aggressively courted signatures around town, which at one point led to a confrontation with one of the proponents outside the Post Office that led to the police being called.
Loni Parker also wrote a letter to the editor that resulted in an individual filing a complaint about her conduct with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. On Thursday, the complaint was discussed during the closed-door portion of the meeting of the CSRD’s Board of Directors and on Friday, they announced that Parker was cleared of any impropriety.
The result means council will have to decide whether or not to proceed with a full referendum on the annexation requests, or simply drop the applications. A report to council says a referendum could cost $10,000.
Council will make a decision at their next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Following the news, Ian Tomm and Fraser Sprigings, who are working to build an indoor climbing gym in Revelstoke, wrote a letter to the editor asking council to hold a referendum on the annexation. They wrote Evans offered land to build the climbing gym and that dropping the application would jeopardize their plans.
The results come as the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the City of Revelstoke plan a study to look at future boundary extensions in the South Revelstoke area.
City boundaries were extended to include the Thomas Brook water users near the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort at the start of the year.