by Roy Wood
Dividend Ridge project moves a step closer
Several new objections to the proposed duplex development at the top of Dividend Ridge were brought to Osoyoos council’s attention this afternoon but were refuted by the planning department and the project moved one step closer to approval.
Planning director Gina MacKay told council that several written objections were submitted following the June 17 public hearing. In a report to council she listed them along with her department’s comments on the validity of the complaints:
- Area is not within the Dividend Ridge Urban area. A map shows the subject property is in the urban area.
- An area plan is needed before such a project. This refers to the Dividend Ridge expansion area, not the subject property.
- The area is designated low-density residential. The Official Community Plan (OCP) allows a range of densities. The proposal is well within the range.
- The area is within an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). The area is devoid of vegetation and the ESA is mainly on the Crown land to the south.
- The property is not within the Urban Growth Area. The area is within the Urban Growth Area and in the OCP.
MacKay said there was also a comment about the unsuitability of low-income housing in the area. She said the proposal is for market retail housing and that the development will have to meet appropriate form and character criteria.
She told council it has the option of holding a second public hearing. There seemed no appetite for that idea as council unanimously approved third reading of the zoning amendment bylaw.
No support for pro wrestling fundraiser
A request for financial help toward a memorial bench for Blake Sewell, who died in 2016 from an array of medical issues, was sent back to town staff for more clarity because of a reference to professional wrestling in the request letter.
The letter from Tyler Da Costa started off describing a “professional wrestling fundraiser” toward buying a memorial bench for “our friend and beloved community member Blake Sewell.”
The letter then says “we are looking for sponsorship to help us cover some of the cost.”
Councillor CJ Rhodes told council, “I’m not interested in sponsoring a professional wrestling event.” The rest of council seemed to agree with that view and the letter was sent back for clarification.
The wrestling event, sponsored by the Da Costa Brothers, is billed “Thrash Wrestling – Over the Top” and will occur outside the Osoyoos branch of the Canadian Legion at 6:30 in the evening.
Music to continue at Jojo’s Open Mic Nights
Council unanimously agreed to a miniscule liquor licence change, demanded by a new liquor inspector, to allow Jojo’s Café to continue Open Mic nights at the popular downtown eatery.
Planning director Gina MacKay told council, “There’s a new liquor control officer in our community and we have seen a lot of questions come forward as they … I don’t want to say ‘flex their muscle,’ but look at introducing themselves to our community.”
In her report to council, MacKay said: “Jojo’s Café has been instrumental in bringing live music to Osoyoos. They would like to continue encouraging and supporting local musicians by providing free Open Mic nights throughput the year.”
According to MacKay, the licence change demanded by the liquor inspector was merely to have Jojo’s owner “tick a box” on the licence application specifying the inclusion of audience participation among the allowable activities.
Child care expansion project funding on the books
Council approved a change to the town’s five-year financial plan to reflect an additional $892,500 for the capital cost of the Osoyoos Child Care Centre Expansion project.
The expansion is fully funded by the Union of BC Municipalities child care space creation program, but the town’s accounts need to reflect the money coming in and going out.
The expansion will see 18 spaces added to the centre’s current eight. The centre will move to a more age-specific operation, including: eight spaces for children from six to 19 months; eight for 19-30-month-olds; and 10 for kids from 30 months to school age.