RMR owner Northland opposes nearby ‘parasitic’ development, wants reimbursement if it goes ahead

Revelstoke Mountain Resort's owner Northland Properties is strongly against a potential treehouse lodging development just south of the resort, arguing the proposed development piggybacks on the infrastructure they operate without contributing to its costs. Their lawyers are warning the City of Revelstoke they'll want to be reimbursed if it goes ahead.

Northland Properties Corp is against a local developer creating a tree hotel style accommodation so close to the ski resort. Photo: Via Treehotel Sweden.

An application to annex a property into Revelstoke city boundaries could be successful after a year and a half in bureaucratic process, but it will be to the annoyance of Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s owner Northland Properties Corp.

David Evans and Shelley Sharpe first began their application to annex their property on Camozzi Road, adjacent to the resort, into Revelstoke’s city boundaries in about April 2014.

The property is currently part of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the owners want it to have access to Revelstoke’s water and sewage services, part of their plan to develop the site into a 10,000–15,000 sq. ft. commercial lodge, in addition to the proposed treehouse hotel units.

Their property is about 18 vacant acres and the pair’s unique development concept of a tree hotel has gained interest with the local media over time.

The proposed property to be annexed is just south of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Photo: From council documents.
The proposed property to be annexed is just south of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Photo: From council documents.

But the City of Revelstoke has received a number of letters from Northland’s corporate counsel Rob Toor voicing strong opposition. He stated that in planning the ski resort with the province a Master Development Agreement was made and it never contemplated this type of boundary change was possible.

He describes the potential development following annexation as “parasitic” and if it goes ahead, the city may potentially incur financial ramifications as it will change the basis of the resort’s investment in local infrastructure.

“If the city grants an extension of the services for the development, the resort will expect a reimbursement for the time and funds spent on such infrastructure costs of such services,” the letter dated May 23 reads. “The services were constructed to service the resort’s current and future development needs.”

He continues: “Furthermore, there is an abundance of land available within the city limits, for anyone wishing to build a hotel, and therefore, there is no reason to annex this property for this development.”

Land officer Ben Sampogna, with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, backed up Toor’s statements with a letter dated May 26.

“The ability of a third-party developer to construct commercial accommodation immediately adjacent to the resort, without having been made to develop costly infrastructure, most certainly provides an unfair competitive advantage,” he states.

Councillors will have the opportunity to discuss whether to approve this final step for annexation at the city council meeting on October 13.

If successful city staff will prepare the final package for submission to the province.

To begin their development process, the owners will need to apply for an Official Community Plan (OCP) Amendment, Rezoning and Development Permit. The OCP Amendment and Rezoning process would include public notification and a public hearing.

Read this city council agenda item in full, which includes the quoted letters, here.