By Camille Aubin
camille@columbiavalleypioneer.com

A four-unit rowhouse development located in Radium Hot Springs has been approved during the last council meeting, held virtually on Wednesday Jan. 13.
Situated at the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Stanley Street, across from the Radium Hot Springs centre, the short term rentals project has been a hot topic during the last town council, and some council members clearly still do love the development, despite the developer’s latest changes, even though they approved it.

The project named ‘Radium Escape’ was first described in the Dec. 10 issue of the Pioneer as a rowhouse that could sleep up to 14 people per unit with a total of five bedrooms. If every unit was at full capacity, there could be a total of 56 people in the development at a given time. After council refused this first version of the project due to several concerns, such as the potential for excessive noise problems, parking space issues, as well as the overall aesthetic not jiving with the current style of the construction within the community, the two-story rowhouse proposal was modified by developers, following the Nov. 25 Radium council meeting. The bedroom count was reduced by one, and is now a total of four, limiting the maximum occupancy to 10 people per unit and 40 in the entire building, at full capacity, at any given time. The interconnected roof deck spaces have been removed from the project after councillors expressed concerns about large gatherings in the development, which could cause noise issues.

After an explanation on the changes to the Radium Escape project, Radium councillor Todd Logan put forward a motion to accept the project. Councillor Mike Gray seconded the motion with a shy show of hand. “It’s going be big”, added Gray. The motion was followed by a lively discussion on the issue. Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt expressed her concerns that “when people come and go, they don’t act like residents.” Some council members indicated that the changes to the proposal make it easier to swallow. “If this was the version we received first, it would have been less alarming,” said Gray.

Gray asked Radium chief administrative officer Mark Read what options council has. “Do we have to make a decision at this point?” said Gray. “There would be considerable risk in not approving this application,” replied Read, who pointed out that the project now meets all the criteria and changes previously requested by the village council. In the end, councillors voted unanimously in favor of the motion, and accepted the proposal. Reinhardt added that bylaws enforcement are in place to deal with issues that may arise if council members concerns turn out to be true.