Gas bar development denied in rural area

Briefs from District of Invermere council meeting on Tuesday, May 8.

District of Invermere council was unanimous in its support of district staff’s recommendation to veto the rezoning required for a proposed gas bar and commercial space development on 13th Avenue during its regular meeting on Tuesday (May 8).

Reasons cited by the district’s director of development services Rory Hromadnik as to why he couldn’t support the project through to third reading included the speculative nature of the gas bar (i.e. the lack of vendor and/or lease), the significant change it would have on the local neighbourhood, and the unknown impacts of gas vapour, noise and lights on such a rural area.

“Ultimately, it’s an arterial road and ultimately it’s going to get busier [but] the proposal is ahead of its time,” said Councillor Greg Anderson in support of Hromadnik’s recommendation.

The rest of council agreed and Councillor Paul Denchuk noted that “[the neighbourhood] is very rural and very much residential.”

“I’d like to see a focus on the downtown area rather than spreading it out at this time,” Denchuk said, also adding the developer should be commended for his effort and not discouraged from bring more ideas forward as his projects were “beneficial to the community.”

Request invites new policy

A request by the Windermere Valley Early Childhood Development Team to place a permanent sign on the back of the District of Invermere sign by the Athalmer bridge was unanimously turned down by council. Mayor Gerry Taft said a policy was needed to avoid such one-off requests. Denchuk agreed, saying “otherwise, we’re plastering the town with signs.” Chief administrative officer Christopher Prosser raised the point that other backs of signs in Invermere already had website names. The motion to table the request until a policy was in place at which time other signs would also be reviewed was passed.