Developer withdraws plans for Williamson’s Lake camping resort

In a statement, Hyeum Properties cites lack of transparency, public and stakeholder consultation among reasons for withdrawing application.

File photo: The playground at Williamson's Lake, with campers in the background. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

Hyeum Properties has announced it is withdrawing its proposal to develop lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) south of Williamson’s Lake.

The company proposed the creation of a camping resort with added amenities such as a restaurant and putting golf course. For more details on the proposal, see our story from earlier this week here.

The proposal included removal of public camping on the city-owned Williamson’s Lake, and the creating a new campsite on property the company owns nearby.

The ALR-designated lands Hyeum Properties sought to have altered to a non-farm use are part of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. The CSRD had asked for the city to provide its input through a referral.

In an email to the Mountaineer, project manager Keith Stevenson said Hyeum Properties had been discussing the City of Revelstoke’s referral document and reviewing the report to council since its release.

Stevenson said it is “evident the city has a vision for the city-owned Williamson’s Lake Park and Campground” in mind and “do[es] not appear to have an interest in discussing Hyeum Properties’ concept to enhance the area and experience for users.”

He also said there was a misconception the proposal sought an exclusion from the ALR. In fact, said Stevenson, the proposal was for non-farm use.

He said the proposal included fewer permanent structures on the three parcels than what is currently permitted through the ALC.

“It would ensure that the project be constructed in a way such that the lands are able to return to agriculture lands in the future if needed,” he said.

A sketch included in the application package for Hyeum Properties’ proposed camping development for the Williamson’s Lake area. Image: City of Revelstoke report

“Our vision was created directly from the results and findings of previous Williamson’s Lake Concept Plans completed in 2011 and revised in 2015, APC recommendations and concerns and public consultation,” said Stevenson. “Williamson’s Lake is such an important and cherished destination for the public and visitors to our mountain paradise.”

In a statement, Stevenson criticized the process. “Total transparency and public consultation should take place with such a valued amenity,” Stevenson wrote. “All stakeholders’ positions should be voiced, heard and taken into account. This however has not been the case.”

Revelstoke city council’s decision on the application was made during an in camera meeting in March; the decision was released on the agenda of their April 9 meeting. In B.C., municipal governments can place business items into in camera meetings if they relate to certain topics listed in the Community Charter. The Hyeum application was listed under two sections of the charter that relate to property owned by the municipality and acquisition or disposition of property owned by the municipality.

Stevenson said that as a result, “Hyeum Properties has decided to withdraw its non-farm use application for the aforementioned properties and is looking forward to witnessing the city’s improvements to Williamson’s Lake Park and Campground.”