A temporary use permit may be a short-term step towards establishing a full-time maintenance facility for Sicamous Houseboats.
At its Wednesday, April 28 meeting, Sicamous council approved a temporary use permit, applied for by Waymaker Hospitality on behalf of Checkpoint Developments Ltd., for the property at 800 Two Mile Rd. – across Highway 97A from Checkpoint’s Sicamous Houseboats operation.
According to a district staff report, the permit is to accommodate a maintenance building (the cover-all structure from 1272 Titus Rd., which will be relocated to the site), and an Atco trailer that will house up to six staff.
Temporary use permits (TUP) are good for two years, and can be extended to a maximum of four. But district development services manager Scott Beeching said Checkpoint has already initiated a rezoning process for the property.
“The idea is that this would eventually be a permanent use on the property as they move through that rezoning process,” said Beeching.
The BC Supreme Court approved the sale of the former Waterway Houseboats property, totalling 16.33 acres, to Checkpoint in December 2019 for $2.6 million. Sicamous Houseboats began operating along Mara Lake in 2020, with the intent to turn the eastern portion of the property, across Highway 97A, into a 60-site RV Park.
A public hearing on the TUP was part of the April 28 meeting, during which council heard concerns about traffic, people and houseboats crossing 97A, parking and staff-related issues (noise), as well as concerns relating to the property’s history (the 2012 debris flow) and environmental issues around oil and other materials seeping into the unpaved lot located near Sicamous Creek.
Following the hearing, council echoed some of the public’s concerns, and also commented about how having the coverall building and Atco trailer along the highway at the south entrance to the community might look.
Sicamous Houseboat’s Barb Scott said the trailer’s exterior is being given a new look, and that she is attempting to get a new outer covering for the coverall that will “blend better with the environment.”
Asked about the vision for the east and west portions of the property, Checkpoint president and director Locklynn Craig said the intent is to operate a long-term houseboat business there, noting modifications are needed to make it more sustainable and efficient.
Checkpoint’s other plan is to build the campground on the bench lands to the west.
“Evan (Parliament, town manager) and I have worked on and off on that over the last year and that is still the plan,” said Craig, who is hoping to start this year.
Only Coun. Ryan Airey was opposed to granting the TUP, commenting he didn’t have enough information on why the permit was needed and on Checkpoint’s plans moving forward.
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