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 Posted in    |  on May 12th, 2017  |  by

Westside Gas Station gets zoning approval

A gas station and convenience store development planned for Westside Park is a step closer to going ahead, following a unanimous vote at the most recent Invermere council meeting.

During the Monday, April 28th meeting, council members all voted in favour of a zoning bylaw amendment that will allow for the development, which is proposed by valley realtor Barry Brown-John and will be located at the north end of Westside Park. Several restrictions, however, have been set in place, including that the gas station and convenience store’s hours of operation be limited to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., that exterior lighting be only full cut off LED lighting; that only indirect source sign lighting be used (not back lit signs) and that signs only be illuminated during hours of operation.

Mr. Brown-John will still need to get council to approve a development permit, before the district can grant a building permit or business license.
Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, speaking after the meeting, told the Pioneer there had been quite a bit of discussion amongst council members at the meeting, even though the vote was unanimous.

“Council looked at the scope and scale of the project, and considered that during the public hearing (on the proposed development) some people were opposed to it. But we saw there there are tools (the restrictions) to help manage the concerns,” said Mr. Taft.

Mr. Taft said Mr. Brown-John had made another proposal for a much larger gas station-convenience store development at the south end of Westside Park several years ago, but that council had turned that plan down.

“This (proposal) is much more a neighbourhood store with a few gas pumps,” he said.

The public hearing on the matter had been held on Monday, April 10th and drew about 30 people – some against the project and some in favour.

Steve Hubrecht
Email: steve@columbiavalleypioneer.com
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Reporter Steve Hubrecht arrived in the Columbia Valley after working for newspapers in Fernie, B.C., and Beijing, China. He spends as much time outside as possible – if he's not at the Pioneer and Echo office, he's probably out telemarking or hiking. He grew up in southern Ontario and graduated with an MA in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario in 2006.

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