Creston town council passed the first two readings of a zoning bylaw amendment that could allow the construction of a gymnastics studio at the east end of Canyon Street.
The Vigna family — represented at the meeting by Michael Vigna — owns the properties, and would like to turn the 1704 Canyon St. (former Broaster House restaurant) zoning from food service to mixed-use commercial, including office, fitness studio and child care space, and build a studio for the Creston Valley Gymnastics Club on 1710/1714 Canyon St.
In a presentation at the March 24 regular meeting, town planner Jamai Schile said the change in use of the former restaurant wouldn’t impact the building’s footprint, and was consistent with the Official Community Plan. However, she suggested changes to the proposal for the 1710/1714 Canyon St. construction, recommending an eight-foot setback to match the neighbouring former restaurant and Dairy Queen, as well as increasing “the street appeal by including landscaping that is visually interesting and functional.”
With those provisos in place, council passed the first two readings, with a public hearing to come at a later date.
According to a letter from the gymnastics club, which has operated for 34 years unable to purchase or build a proper facility, the proposed location will offer better access than its current Helen Street location, as well as offer more classes at one time.
“Every year we have to turn away youth who want to enroll in our program due to lack of space,” said president Kori Nathorst. “The facility will allow us the luxury of having two classes running at once, which will be a first for our club, but the norm for most other gymnastics clubs.”
•Staff will prepare a report on how the town can liaise with the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce to promote Creston as a place to both retire and raise a family, following a Globe and Mail article on Canada’s top five places to retire.
•Mayor Ron Toyota will write a letter to resident Deborah Munro to express appreciation for her suggestions regarding the dog park, which included setting aside certain hours for small dogs, as well as creating a second park for small dogs. The town’s budget will not allow a second park to be created, and the existing park was made possible only through a grant opportunity.
•Toyota will write to Creston RCMP Staff Sgt. Bob Gollan advising him of 2015 municipal policing priorities: increased presence in the downtown core, improved partnerships with the town and community groups, and increased drug enforcement and education.
•The Coffee Talk program will be expanded to include separate sessions involving Toyota and no more than two councillors. The first council member Coffee Talk will be held in the Creston Hotel conference room from 6-8 p.m. April 13 with Toyota and Couns. Kevin Boehmer and Karen Unruh attending.
•The “business walk” program being organized by the chamber, Community Future and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training has been rescheduled from April 8 to May 25.
•Requests for Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives grants through the town will be discussed at the April 21 committee of the whole meeting.
•With no further School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of education meeting scheduled in Creston this school year, council will travel to Nelson on June 16 for a meeting with the board.
•At Boehmer’s suggestion, the town will send a letter of congratulations and support to the Lower Kootenay Band following its purchase of Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort.