The TNRD pleased a neighbourhood but surprised a business owner after backtracking on a decision to grant a temporary use permit for his operation on Del Oro Road east of Kamloops.
“I’m really disappointed in the decision,” said Clayton Crawford, owner of Lynx Creek Industrial and Hydrovac. “A lot of other businesses have trucks and shops in that area, he said.
Crawford wasn’t at the Thompson-Nicola Regional District meeting on Thursday, so he was caught off-guard by the reversal.
“It means, for me basically, that I’m not allowed to do what everyone else does.”
Three years ago Crawford relocated from Alberta and set up shop on the property bordering Dallas Drive off the East Trans-Canada Highway, just outside City boundaries.
The property, however, is zoned country residential, so Crawford applied for a temporary use permit to be above board for a three-year period.
The TNRD board initially voted in favour of a two-year permit last month, but decided to deny the permit in a final vote on Thursday. The vote passed by a wide margin — 24-2.
A public meeting and survey of the neighbourhood last fall indicated strong opposition to light industrial or commercial use in Del Oro. TNRD staff recommended that the board refuse the permit.
“I think a two-acre parcel is simply too small for an operation of this size,” said director John Sternig.
Director Ken Gillis, who is responsible for Area L where the property is located, was one of two who voted to issue the permit. He said Crawford was prepared to live with the restrictions the permit would impose.
“He does intend to make alternative arrangements for his business,” Gillis said. “To start the clock ticking on the two-year permit use might be the quickest way to resolve this.”
Other directors didn’t see it that way.
“I don’t see any way I can support this,” Steve Rice said.
Marg Spina expressed concern over possible groundwater contamination from vehicle storage and fire protection.
John Ranta said he didn’t want to harm a business and suggested a compromise by giving Crawford until fall to comply with bylaws.
“He hasn’t been honest and completely forthcoming with the board,” Tim Pennell said. “His intention with the shop use was commercial from the word get-go.”
“He’s pushed his way in here and — I won’t say destroyed a neighbourhood — but changed it drastically,” Andy Anderson added.
A group of neighbours signalled their approval for each criticism with subdued applause.
“It’s absolutely the right decision,” Gudrun Hogg said. “It’s just the wrong use in the wrong area. It sets a precedent for other properties and property owners.”