By Steve Hubrecht

A part — although not all —  of the Westside Park neighbourhood that is zoned for commercial development, was changed by Invermere council to residential zoning last week.

When the development plan for what is now known as the Westside Park subdivision was adopted 20 years ago, its neighbourhood plan outlined a vision of integrated residential development, open and recreational space and small-scale ‘neighbourhood’ commercial development (such as corner shop grocery stores or one or two-pump gas bars similar in scope to Pip’s Country Store in Edgewater). 

In the ensuing two decades the size and location of the commercially zoned areas has been amended several times but no developments have ever actually been constructed, or even gotten as far in the planning process as the District of Invermere’s development permitting stage.  

The current owner of a square-shaped Westside Park parcel that is immediately to the north of Westside Park Drive and immediately west of 13th Avenue, wanted to change the zoning, feeling that the property is better suited for multi-family residential development similar to the multi-family residential homes already built on adjacent Westside Park parcels.

Invermere council agreed during its Tuesday, October 25 meeting.

“There’s a small chunk that is still commercial but most is now residential, so the developer can move forward with that (residential development),” said Invermere mayor, Al Miller, after the meeting.