Keefer Lake resort to expand

The applicant is proposing to construct an 11-room lodge, including a lounge and restaurant

A wilderness resort development could have a major economic boost for Cherryville.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee has recommended to the Regional District of North Okanagan board that a development permit with variances be issued for a new lodge at Keefer Lake Wilderness Resort.

“It’s a beautiful setting and a business welcome in the area,” said Hank Cameron, Cherryville director. “It’s very suitable for that kind of activity.”

The applicant is proposing to construct an 11-room lodge, including a lounge and restaurant, retail space, administrative offices, a massage area, a sauna and a recreation room.

The resort, which is 14 kilometres east of Highway 6, is a destination for fishing, mountain bikeng, hiking, smomobiling, cross-country skiing and ATV touring.

The lodge would serve as a base for cat skiing and heli-skiing tours.

A variance is needed because the applicant wants to increase the height of the building from the permitted eight metres to 14.5 metres on the rear side.

“It makes sense to go higher because of the environmental footprint,” said owner Jeff Gostlin.

“We’re not building a skyscraper, it’s just one level higher.”

The variance got support from EAAC members.

“Height won’t be a problem because there are no neighbours,” said Herman Halvorson, rural Enderby director.

The other variance means the parking lot and loading area won’t have to be paved.

“Paving doesn’t make sense. We are 14 kilometres on the Keefer Lake Road which is a gravel road. We may do some paving to keep dust down,” said Gostlin.

While a development permit is moving ahead at RDNO, a building permit has not been issued.

Gostlin says there are plans for a second-phase expansion of the lodge and perhaps cabins in 10 to 15 years.