Clearwater Towing re-zoning moves ahead

A proposal from Clearwater Towing to re-zone land next to its wrecking yard gets initial approval from town council

A proposal from Clearwater Towing to re-zone land next to its wrecking yard in the Strawberry Flats area of Clearwater got initial approval from town council Tuesday evening, Sept. 4.

The proposal would change the zoning for a parcel beside the wrecking yard at the corner of Swanson Road and Station Road to C-2 (service commercial) in order to allow the creation of a new auto-repair business.

It also would change the zoning of the land between the wrecking yard and the North Thompson River to CR-1 (country residential) to allow the construction of a residence.

The five-hectare lot is presently zoned I-3 (general industrial).

Council was told it is in the 200-year floodplain and, in some areas, is up to 1.2 meters (four feet) below the 200-year flood construction level.

The Clearwater official community plan states that the District should limit development on flood-prone areas to parks, open space, recreation, or non-intensive agriculture uses.

The owner’s long-term plan is to subdivide, council was told. However, Interior Health has advised that it would not support subdivision as the property is within the 200-year floodplain.

Interestingly, a recent survey showed that Swanson Road is partially located on the applicant’s property. Staff recommended that the District have the applicant register a road reserve covenant over this area prior to final consideration of the re-zoning.

The road reserve covenant should state that no buildings would be located over that part of the parcel currently occupied by Swanson Road and that the building setbacks be measured from the boundaries of a proposed new road dedication. Alternatively, the owner would dedicate the land as “road.”

Apparently such encroachments are not unusual. The BC Transportation Act legally protects the traveled and maintained portions of roadways that stray onto private land.

Building Inspection Services reported that a building permit application had been received for an unauthorized addition to the office building at the wrecking yard. The application would bring the addition into conformity floodplain regulations.

After some confusion about what option was being recommended by staff, council gave first and second readings to amendments to the official community plan (OCP) and the property’s zoning classification.

The matter next will go to a public hearing, to be held in conjunction with a regular council meeting.