The RDEK voted to rezone a Moyie property for commercial use, which will allow a small business to do boat cleaning and storage.
Movie Marine, headed up by Guy Kodila, had applied for a partial rezoning, which was approved by the RDEK board following a public consultation process and a public hearing on April 26.
RDEK board chair Rob Gay said there was both a strong contingent of support and opposition to the rezoning, but added that ultimately, the board decided to support the application.
“Their property is not commercially zone, so they applied for a commercial zoning and we took it to a public hearing and I would say about 50 per cent of the people that spoke and wrote letters were in favour and the other 50 per cent were against it for a variety of reason,” said Gay.
“It’s always a very difficult decision and the board actually agreed to go ahead and change the zoning to allow that small business to continue with some conditions.”
The property is located at 9881 Estates Road just off the Highway 3/95 at the south end of the lake.
At the public hearing, there were both submissions in the form of letters, plus local property owners who made comments for and against the proposed rezoning.
Joe Romeo wrote that his family has been long time users of Moyie and have a cabin on the lake owned by extended family.
“We support the application by Guy Kodila to amend the current zoning to allow him to expand his boat storage and detail business at Moyie Lake,” wrote Romeo. “We believe the intended development will protect the integrity of the lake.”
However, there was also opposition to the rezoning from many residents, who were concerned with potential issues such as increased traffic and environmental impacts of the materials used to clean the boats.
“The introduction of a commercial enterprise into a residential neighbourhood has a huge impact on the area, residents and the lifestyle of a community,” wrote Murray Evenson. “There will be increased traffic, noise, the danger of accident or pollution, not to mention the loss of property value and a negative image of the Moyie Lake area.”
Gay, the Area C director, noted he wrestled with the decision to support the rezoning, while Cranbrook municipal directors Tom Shypitka and Lee Pratt were both in favour.
“One of the directors was saying that this is an operation near a large lake, and what has happened is a lot of these residents are from Alberta, they de-water their boat and take it back to Alberta, pay for storage in Alberta…who knows what’s going on the trailer when it travels and they bring it back next spring,” said Gay. “This made a lot of sense from a carbon footprint point of view, from [invasive] mussels, transportation point of view, just to deal with it.
“That is the type of business that would complement what we’ve already got out there. It’s a small business, the person lives in his home, he’s right there on site all the time. There’s no noise, it’s a cleaning business and you have some additional traffic, that’s true, in the spring and fall when the people take their boats out, but otherwise there’s not a stream of traffic going there.”