District of Sicamous council has approved the development permit for Mara Lake Resort in Two Mile. Neighbours are concerned the new development will bring more traffic into the community, and have reservations related to the new intersection proposed for Highway 97A. District of Sicamous image

Council OKs proposed hotel resort in Two Mile

Neighbours share concern regarding safety of proposed highway intersection.

Sicamous council has approved the development permit for a new resort hotel in Two Mile, despite concerns of neighbouring residents regarding traffic.

The permit is for the proposed Mara Lake Resort, a 73-unit hotel and conference centre. Located on Mara Lake at the south-west end of Two Mile, the resort received conditional approval from council in October 2015. At that time, the designed access to the resort from Highway 97A was carried over from the design for a previously proposed development, a 270-unit strata development that was approved but did not proceed to construction

A traffic study, one of the conditions required by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, has since been completed. This resulted in a redesigned access from Hwy. 97A, with a proposed intersection being aligned with the south end of Montcalm Crescent.

A staff report notes the proposed changes to the access have also resulted in changes to the proposed site plan, with more space allotted for the development build-out and landscaping – though no significant changes relating to the main hotel and conference centre.

A public hearing was held prior to council approving the new development permit, with new conditions. During this, Coun. Gord Bushell attempted to address the traffic concerns raised in each of the eight letters submitted by Two Mile residents. But developer Rick Collins stressed that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is onboard with the current intersection design, which includes acceleration and deceleration lanes, having identified it as the safest available option.

“You’ve got to appreciate, this was done by a professional traffic engineering company that takes all of that into consideration – site lines, acceleration… turning, grades, everything,” said Collins.

A majority of council voted in favour, with Bushell and Coun. Colleen Anderson opposed.