Council asked to extend deadline for Sandman on Versatile

April 16, 2012

In 2008, Kamloops City council held the rezoning for a proposed Sandman Inn on Versatile Drive at third reading, pending design and some other work, including a traffic study.

Four years later, the study still isn’t done.

Council is being asked Tuesday to extend the deadline so that the study, along with a City staff review of all highway interface areas in Kamloops, can be completed and examined.

City traffic and transportation engineer Chris Darwent said Monday the Versatile Drive area has seen a lot of growth, particularly as it leads to Aberdeen and Pineview Valley.

The two studies will help determine what improvements the Sandman needs to make, and how much the hotel’s portion of costs are, he said.

“There is a lot of growth from a lot of areas up there. So it will likely to be a shared cost,” he said. “They’re still pursuing the rezoning.”

City community development manager Randy Lambright said the land the hotel has sited was originally zoned as industrial. It’s been delayed awaiting the traffic study, but in the meantime there’s been increasing pressure in town for more industrial land.

“The bylaw was held at third reading. It can be held without a deadline. But when we look at one, two or three years . . . and there’s nothing. And a neighbourhood starts to change, the original rezone analysis can change because circumstances around the property can change,” he said.

In the area near the hotel, Pineview Valley is developing, the Dufferin neighbourhood is developing, Aberdeen is expanding — and all of that influences the corridor from a traffic perspective, he said.

“As far as I know, they’re still pursuing it. When we indicated they hadn’t closed off on their rezoning application, they hadn’t met some of the conditions part of that application, we indicated we would go back to council to rescind,” he said. “They said, no, we’re still proceeding. But then we said we needed the traffic study.”

And so council will face a recommendation Tuesday that calls for extending the deadline on the studies until September. Lambright said he expected they will be completed well before that.

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