Last week, Rossland city council passed a zoning amendment allowing industrial use for a gateway property at the entrance of the city.
The property in question was 926 Black Bear Drive, owned by Curtis Nichols.
Nichols said he plans to put a machine shop on the property, where he also resides.
The amendment proposal brought up a lot of discussion and council ended up passing it by a thin margin.
The C-2 commercial use has a broad spectrum of allowable uses and once zoned, can be used for anything from a
The mayor said noise and other concerns could be addressed through bylaws.
“But once the use is determined by zoning, the city can’t change the use,” Granstrom said. “The uses that seem a bit onerous are the C-2 commercial parts of those uses. They are very wide encompassing. The applicant is a great person, but if he sells that property to another person, who knows what that person wishes to do.”
He added that he can do anything he wants with it, so he cautioned that they should be careful what they do.
The Rossland Motel, right next door to the property is zoned as a C-2, but existed long before the motel was built.
Coun. Kathy Wallace said she had similar concerns to the mayor.
“I’m not sure that that should be sitting in the gateway community and I’m torn by this because I realize that there are properties in that area that already have that zoning,” Wallace said. “Certainly this landowner has made an investment based on his understanding, but other landowners (in the area) have also made an investment based on an understanding.”
Coun. Kathy Moore said the city needs to look at building some capacity for some small businesses.
“Otherwise we destine ourselves to be a bedroom community of Trail,” Moore said. “It’s sort of the only area we have to zone for these other kinds of commercial services business uses.”
Coun. Tim Thatcher noted the lack of commercial space in Rossland.
“The type of business that goes into that area has to enhance the town in a beneficial way,” Thatcher said. “I don’t think that business there is ideal.”
Coun. Cary Fisher said Rossland has a scarce number of properties with the designation.
He said that he visited a machine shop in Fruitvale, run out of a garage, and it was very quiet.
“With the right operator and bylaw enforcement this shouldn’t be an issue,” Fisher said.
Coun. Jill Spearn said the gateway was already an unattractive entrance to our community and was exactly the kind of area where commercial exists in other cities.
“I appreciate that there are people that live out there, but you know, you can’t put up the great wall of Rossland, at least not yet,” Spearn said. “
If you can’t be accepting of multiple uses in our community… we are becoming this gentrified little city that doesn’t welcome a variety of uses.”
Coun. Jody Blomme lives in the area, but declared that she did not have a conflict. Blomme was also torn by the decision, saying that the complaints from residents in the area and the multiple use zoning were weighed on her own positive opinion of it.
The zoning passed with a 5-4 vote.