Revelstoke council not supportive of Williamson’s Lake Agricultural Land Reserve application

City council is not supporting a referral request for an Agricultural Land Reserve non-farm-use request that would have enabled a campsite, restaurant and golf development on a property adjacent to Williamson's Lake.

A sketch included in the application package for Hyeum Properties' proposed camping development for the Williamson's Lake area. Image: City of Revelstoke report

Plans for a camping resort with a restaurant and retail element on a property that encapsulates the existing city campground and park at Williamson’s Lake has received a negative referral from city council. 

The news came in a report issued at council’s April 9 meeting, but the decision was made during the in-camera portion of council’s March 26 meeting. 

File photo: Paddleboarding is a popular sport on Williamson’s Lake. The proposed design includes options for new lockers for watercraft like paddleboards. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

The proponent of the project, Hyeum Properties, owns properties adjacent to the lake surrounding the city campground and is proposing a mixed camping-style development. They were applying for a non-farm use for the property, which is in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The proposal included 35 campsites, greenhouses, a restaurant, playing field and an 18-hole golf putting course. It also called for the removal of the existing campsites at Williamson’s Lake, which is owned by the City of Revelstoke. 

In response to a referral from the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), the city replied saying it “does not support” the non-farm use application. 

A response letter that is to be sent to the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District included several reasons for the decision. The letter stated that:

-the proposal threatens the agricultural viability and agricultural character of the interface lands at the municipal boundary.

-the proposal has potential to negatively impact the character and ecological integrity of Williamson’s Lake Park and Campground.

-the proposal has unknown impacts and should not proceed in the absence of coordinated and inter-jurisdictional planning considerations.

-the city does not support removing camping from the existing park. 

-the proposal straddles the city and CSRD and that it runs counter to a diagnostic inventory that was completed in the area in 2017. 

A city report notes that “it is anticipated that this land would form part of the larger development concept.”

A sketch provided by the developer included the buildings, campsites and the golf course to the south of the city park. It also sketched out an “artisan village” on the north side of the existing access road to the park, although the application didn’t concern that property. The sketch also showed that the existing city campsites would be removed and there would be other facilities added including an amphitheatre and three docks. 

When contacted by the Mountaineer, Hyeum Properties project manager Keith Stevenson said that the city response was “disappointing” and said the company would need further time to “digest” the report before providing a response. 

For more info, see the city report here, and referral here. 

For past Revelstoke Mountaineer stories on an earlier iteration of the Hyeum Properties proposal, see this link.