Province denies city request for referendum on Catherwood Road annexation

The City of Revelstoke won't be able to go ahead with a referendum on the Catherwood Road annexation, after the province denied a request for an extension.

3452 Catherwood Road. Photo: Google Maps

There won’t be a referendum on the Catherwood Road annexation, as the B.C. government has indicated the City of Revelstoke won’t be able to meet the March 4 deadline to hold the referendum. The city had asked for an extension, but this has been turned down by provincial authorities.

“I am not satisfied that special circumstances exist with regard to the boundary extension proposal and [the City of] Revelstoke’s inability to meet the requirements of … the Local Government Act,” Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development wrote in a letter to council dated Feb. 23.

If an extension had been granted, the referendum would have allowed a vote on whether two large parcels of property Catherwood Road would be annexed into the city. Currently the properties, which are located at 3304 and 3452 Catherwood Road, are part of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and are designated as being part of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

One of the properties is owned by David Evans, while the other is owned by Peter Bernacki, Melinda Bell and Richard Mickle.

While the city has been supportive of the proposed annexation of the two properties, a petition spearheaded by Andy Parkins and Daren Corneliuson resulted in more than 700 signatures, and the decision to conduct a referendum. The counter petition narrowly exceeded the required 10% of registered electors.

Fassbender notes in his letter that approval has been given for a $30,000 planning grant to conduct a study on planning, service delivery, and governance in the south Revelstoke area.

“Following completion of the study, council will be in a better position to determine its approach to the Catherwood properties,” Fassbender wrote.

The referendum date had been set for April 29.

The Mountaineer has sent a request for further information on this story, which was revealed late Friday afternoon in documents published to the city’s website. Some details remain unclear. We’ll follow up when we get a reply from city staff.