Projects abound for Coldstream

The to-do list in Coldstream isn’t getting any shorter as a number of projects will be full steam ahead for 2013

The to-do list in Coldstream isn’t getting any shorter as a number of projects will be full steam ahead for 2013.

Along with the April sports complex referendum, both the Highway 6 realignment and the new mechanic’s shop are expected to be completed before next winter.

But perhaps the biggest task at hand will be the review of the district’s official community plan.

The last time a review took place was in 2005, and with a number of bylaws dating back 30-plus years, the current council and staff are taking a more thorough look through the plan.

One of the items being looked at is density in the rural community.

With infrastructure needs, such as new water lines, Mayor Jim Garlick suggests density needs to be increased in certain areas, whether that be through duplexes, townhouses or other options.

“What we’re looking at is those already-urbanized areas,” said Garlick.

“These are all options and we’re not saying this is the way to go but let’s look at it.”

How sewer fees are collected also places demands for increased density in the community. Therefore the status quo versus a truer user pay system is something Garlick would like the community to examine by next fall.

“A lot of questions have come up around sewer: where does it go next and how do we get it there?” said Garlick.

With fewer residents per kilometre of pipeline, Coldstream ends up paying more for sewer than its neighbours such as Vernon.

Keeping residents in Coldstream is another priority for the district, as it is lobbying the provincial government and Interior Health Authority for a licensed care facility at Coldstream Meadows on Mackie Drive.

“The developer (of Coldstream Meadows) has told us that Coldstream is the largest municipality in B.C. without a licensed care facility,” said Garlick.

Another priority area of potential development for Coldstream is Lavington’s former glass plant site. The plant was shut down in 2008 and remained vacant since.

“We had a group of investors who wanted to buy it and subdivide it into one-hectare lots,” said Garlick.

But with limited large industrial lands, Coldstream turned down the request.

Instead, Coldstream is looking at working with the Regional District of North Okanagan and the City of Vernon’s economic development function to market the prime land.

“I’d like to see something light industrial that creates decent jobs,” said Garlick.

Another area of development that hasn’t seen much action is the Trintec shopping centre behind the RDNO building.

The development is currently in the hands of the Ministry of Transportation, with the entrance and exit off of Highway 6 being examined.

“We’re hoping it goes ahead,” said Garlick of the development that he suspects will move forward in phases and could also include a road linking Sarsons Road to Selkirk Drive.

One project that did see completion on the commercial end of things is the new gas station on Kalamalka Road.

The Centex station opened in November after the former gas station was shut down for nearly seven years.

“It’s a seed,” said Garlick, impressed with how the owners have cleaned the site up. “You need that activity, that commercial activity in the area.”

The gas station sits in Coldstream’s planned town centre, where the district would like to see more businesses move into the area.

As part of the town centre process, the district is actually changing the municipal hall to the new mixed use zone (commercial and residential), and using it as an exemplary model for potential town centre developers in the future.

Garlick assures: “We’re not going to be putting a store in the municipal hall with bunk beds.

“All we’re doing is creating an environment it can happen in.”

Another project Coldstream will have to look at in 2013 is a parks service, now that the memorandum of understanding for parks has been signed.

“We’ll probably look at doing contracting out with the mowing of the grass and those regular maintenance items.”

But all in all, Garlick is looking forward to Coldstream having control of its parks.

“I think it’s going to be more responsive to the public.”