New hotel, other ‘significant’ development proposals for Johnson Heights prompts call for neighbourhood planning

A proposed new hotel, a mixed commercial RV park and other developer interest in larger developments in the Johnson Heights neighbourhood has city staff calling for a planning process for the area.

An aerial perspective of a proposed four-storey, 93-room hotel for a property at 2200 Oak Drive in the Johnson Heights neighbourhood. Photo: City of Revelstoke image

A new four-storey, 93-room hotel is in the early development stages for the Johnson Heights neighbourhood.

The hotel is slated for a property at 2200 Oak Drive, which is located at the corner of Oak Drive and the Trans-Canada Highway. Renderings of the hotel development included in a city agenda package list the proponents of the project as Hyeum Properties Ltd. and Revelmond Property Inc.

Oak Drive is the road that intersects with the Trans-Canada Highway and leads towards the Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. and the Coast Hillcrest Hotel. City staff has received a development permit application for the new hotel.

The proposed hotel is the subject of a new City of Revelstoke development services report that recommends a neighbourhood planning process for Johnson Heights due to multiple large-scale developments in the works for the neighbourhood.

One of them has previously been reported on by the Mountaineer. The developer, Walkabout Holdings Ltd, wants to turn a 12.7-hectare property in 1121 Johnson Way into a development that will include an RV park, cabins, a restaurant, commercial space, storage units with suites, and more.

The concept plan for the proposed Johnson Way RV Park in the Johnson Heights neighbourhood. Photo: City of Revelstoke documents

The June 14 staff report by city planner Daniel Sturgeon also alludes to other “significant” development plans other than the new mixed-commercial RV park and the hotel.

In his report, Sturgeon said that due to the preliminary nature of the applications, staff is choosing to keep them confidential. “Concurrently with the above proposed development permit, staff have met with other potential applicants for significant proposals on other large properties in the Johnson Heights District Study Area who are expressing interest in exploring their development potential. Given that the inquiries are preliminary in nature, and have not yet materialized into formal applications, best practice is to keep the subject details confidential.”

Neighbourhood planning process

The flurry of new development interest in the neighbourhood has prompted city staff to call for a “neighbourhood planning process” for the district.

That process would explore a number of issues that the intensive new development interest would create. For example, the developer of the mixed RV resort at 1121 Johnson Way is required to complete a number of studies including a traffic impact assessment, a servicing plan, geotechnical studies, public consultation related to the city’s Official Community Plan (OCP), buffering studies, rezoning plans, a land use feasibility study, and more.

A rendering of a proposed four-storey, 93-room hotel for a property at 2200 Oak Drive in the Johnson Heights neighbourhood. Photo: City of Revelstoke image

In his report, which will be discussed at the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting on June 13, Sturgeon says the new development interest stand to “drastically impact the overall land use patterns, transportation movements, infrastructure and servicing needs, and future character of Johnson Heights.”

He said that given the magnitude of the proposals, staff recommend a neighbourhood planning process that would be similar to an official community plan, but parceled off just for the Johnson Heights neighbourhood.

“Staff are concerned that without a comprehensive plan and integration of land uses a series of incremental development proposals in this neighbourhood will result in uncoordinated land use, transportation and infrastructure outcomes,” Sturgeon wrote in the report.

The city report recommends hiring a planning consultant to undertake the planning process. The contract planner would be paid for by the city and the cost of consultant studies would be “shared by development proponents.”

The report envisions the process to start in June and conclude in December.

“The process will also re-introduce land-use planning to the community, a process that has not been undertaken in detail for more than a decade,” Sturgeon notes. Updating the city’s Official Community Plan (OCP) has long been on the to-do list for the city; the staff recommends updating the plan for this particular neighbourhood due to significant development interest.

The city’s committee of the whole will discuss the staff call for a neighbourhood plan at their June 13 meeting.

Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's been on the news beat in Revelstoke for the past 14 years, serving in senior editorial roles. If you have or call/text him at 250-814-8710.