Revelstoke Credit Union says lighting up its two downtown buildings is a friendly gesture for tourists, locals

Implementation of a dark sky policy to be considered as part of updating process for Revelstoke’s Official Community Plan.

The Revelstoke Credit Union. Photo: RCU Facebook.

You could see more lights on in downtown Revelstoke soon.

Revelstoke city council gave approval for the Revelstoke Credit Union to move forward and work with city staff on concessions to allow two application permit requests to install exterior LED lighting on its downtown buildings. Council also approved a staff recommendation to consider a ‘dark sky’ policy as part of the upcoming Official Community Plan review.

A report from city staff requested council deny the applications over concerns about the potential visual impact the proposed lighting could have, as well as lack of a consistent dark sky policy. City planner Daniel Sturgeon said staff are hoping to avoid the current case by case approval method until such a policy is put in place.

“We really want to avoid case by case evaluations. We’re saying deny the applications right now and if the applicant chooses to come back later on we can consider that application,” Sturgeon said in a presentation at the Tuesday, April 10 regular council meeting.

Roberta Bobicki, Revelstoke Credit Union CEO was also present at Tuesday’s council meeting. She said RCU has met with city staff and a professional lighting company over staff concerns and a number of concessions have been made, including ensuring that lights installed meet with international dark skies policies.

“I think [RCU has] always had what’s best for Revelstoke in the back of our mind … In the winter by 4 p.m. it’s pitch black and we thought some soft friendly lighting around the top of the building would be something nice,” said Bobicki. “This is intended by RCU to be a way to help improve Revelstoke. I would not ever be asking council to do something to the detriment of the community.”

Revelstoke city councillors were united in their support to consider a Dark Sky policy in the upcoming OCP review, but not so when it came to staff’s request to deny the application permit. Councillors Scott Duke and Linda Nixon voted in favour of denying the motion, while councillors Trevor English, Connie Brothers, Gary Sulz and Mayor Mark McKee all voted against the motion, meaning they voted in favour of allowing the lighting. Councillor Aaron Orlando recused himself from the discussion.