The much anticipated open house for the proposed Revelstoke Crossing mall development has been set for Nov. 17.
The City of Revelstoke has announced the date for a public open house to discuss proposed bylaw changes that would allow added uses on the property, including most controversially a grocery store and a pharmacy.
In a Nov. 4 media release, the city announced the meeting will take place Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Revelstoke Community Centre. The large venue seems necessary following overflow attendance at council’s Oct. 27 meeting in council chambers where the issue was up for discussion. It was the largest turnout for a regular city council meeting in at least five years.
The Nov. 17 open house will consist of a presentation by City of Revelstoke Manager of Development Services Dean Strachan. In addition, the proponent for the proposed property development, Hall Pacific, will have representatives at the meeting.
The next step after the public information hearing is a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. Again, this public hearing has also been scheduled for a special location a the Revelstoke Community Centre in anticipation of a large turnout.
A public hearing is a formal process where members of the public who feel they are affected by a proposed change in a bylaw can present their views to council by stepping forward to speak at the meeting. Alternately, the public can provide a written submission by a Nov. 24, 12-noon deadline.
In a statement, Revelstoke mayor Mark McKee said the meeting will provide additional information for the public.
“We recognize the community’s need for additional information with respect to the zoning amendment on the highway. The addition of a public information meeting will serve to give the community a better understanding of what the zoning amendment entails,” McKee said.
The Nov. 24 hearing marks the end of the formal public input stage, so you’ll have to get your comments in before that date. Comments can be emailed to the city’s administration department at email@example.com.
The Revelstoke Crossing development has been the most broadly controversial and sharply divisive issue before council in recent years.
Pro-development forces say the project will bring jobs, retail competition, more shopping options, added tax base, growth, and economic progress.
Anti-development forces say the project will detract from the city’s heritage downtown core by siphoning business away, that the uses are inappropriate for a highway commercial zone, that it’s counter to existing city development plans, and that it will attract chain stores to compete against locally-owned businesses.
Both sides present many other pro or con arguments, sometimes arguing opposite opinions on the same topic.
For example, pro-development forces say it will cause more passing motorists to stop here, and will contribute to highway intersection upgrades, meaning more of them will visit downtown Revelstoke. Anti-development forces say the opposite, that it will provide services at the highway, and that added traffic activity at the highway will further snarl access to downtown, meaning fewer passing motorists come downtown.
The City of Revelstoke has been criticized for not providing more information on the impact of the change. On Monday, Nov. 2, the city announced a new online resource where reports, information and public comment about the proposal is being compiled.
For past stories about the proposed development, see the Revelstoke Mountaineer’s dedicated page for stories on the ongoing controversy here.
What do you think of this development in the ongoing story?