Camozzi Bench tree hotel gets key council approval after public hearing

Revelstoke City councillors vote in support of passing the third reading of the proposed Camozzi Bench tree-style hotel.

File photo: Revelstoke City Council votes in the council chambers. Photo: Emily Kemp/Revelstoke Mountaineer

To the disappointment of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort team at the July 27 special council meeting, Revelstoke city councilors approved a third reading of the rezoning bylaw application for the Camozzi Bench tree hotel.

The development, which is proposed for 18-acres of land, will sit within a short distance from Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s village. The land is currently zoned rural allowing for agricultural uses and was part of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Developer David Evans had it annexed into city limits to access to city infrastructure.

Click on the video below to watch the July 27 special council meeting, which was broadcast live. Click on the notifications tab in Facebook Live to be notified of future live videos by Revelstoke Mountaineer. (Article continues below)

Revelstoke Mountain Resort and its parent company Northland Properties has strongly opposed his proposed tree-house style accommodation development since its inception, calling it ‘parasitic.’

With the third reading passed, the conditions of build-out have changed somewhat. Instead of just a five-year no-build no-disturb covenant on 75 per cent of the land following the first phase, now the build out will be separated into three parts with a five-year no-build covenant on the second phase and a 10-year no-build covenant on the third phase with the percentage of land still to be decided.

All councillors except for Mayor Mark McKee and Coun. Scott Duke voted to support passing the key third reading.

Mayor Mark McKee has been a staunch opponent of the project saying he approved the initial tree house development, but the project had grown significantly in scope since annexation.

“The original request was for a tree-house hotel only,” McKee said.

The rezoning will allow Evans to build accommodation pods and hotels, although there is restrictions on their sizes. Other amenities will be allowed inside of the hotels, such as cafes and restaurants. Previously, Evans has said the first phase will have about 100 beds but the full-build out capacity will be more.

A surprise change came from Coun. Scott Duke who had previously been in favour of allowing the development to go ahead.

“Through the public hearing … last night it was very clear. Everyone is in support of the tree house hotel and there are some grave concerns about building infrastructure beyond that that is on the side of the resort,” he said.

City staff will now do further conditional work on the design before the bylaw rezoning application comes back to council for a final reading, likely within the next couple of months.