A concept rendering of the seven-unit two-storey building set to be constructed at 1129 Riverside Avenue in Sicamous. (File photo)

Sicamous council approves permits for 7-unit commercial-residential building

Fire chief Brett Ogino unhappy with lack of setbacks in building plans

  • Sep. 10, 2021 12:00 a.m.

A company has been given approval to build a seven-unit, two-storey commercial-residential building, and accompanying structures, on Riverside Avenue in Sicamous.

At its Aug. 11 council meeting, District of Sicamous council supported a motion to approve a permit, and related variance permit, for the development.

The variance grants the developer permission to reduce a number of minimum setbacks, with some being reduced to zero, and allows for an increase to the residential building’s height.

The permits were approved with one amendment – that waste container access be moved from its current planned location on Riverside Avenue.

Read more: Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

The development will be zoned as waterfront commercial-residential. A commercial space is planned for the front of the property, while three marine storage units are planned for the back. Seven accommodation units with garages are being built as residential units, though the developer has reserved the right to rent them short-term. The waste container mentioned earlier, and a corresponding enclosure for it, will also be part of the development.

On July 27, a resident of 1130 Riverside Avenue submitted a letter to council stating they were in disagreement with the development variance permit that has since been approved.

“I believe that the developer is overdeveloping the parcel of land, and should comply with existing setbacks. That would require scaling back the size of the development,” said the resident.

“I do not believe that reducing the setback to zero… from 3 metres will provide protection for any units parked on this area… and will be negative if there was a fire or upset condition.”

Sicamous Fire Chief Brett Ogino was in agreement with the resident’s second concern. He said he supports the development in many ways, but with a setback of zero on the back of the residential building, he does not. Ogino said the lack of setback provides limited access for fire protection, and sets a dangerous precedent for future developments.

Read more: ‘No-win situation’: Sicamous business community split on proof of vaccination

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