Glen Harris, project manager for Osoyoos Shoreline Development Ltd. (Shoreline), which is building the Watermark lakefront residential and condo-style hotel resort by two community parks in Osoyoos, says a resort property's biggest environmental challenges relate to water management.
"Town planners are being very adamant about a strong water-management plan," says Harris
says projects in a small town such as Osoyoos can obtain a building permit in six months, while a Vancouver site requires nine months to a year.But riparian regulations and storm-water management issues can extend waiting times in Osoyoos by 100 per cent.
"If you just want to build a house (in an inland area) in Osoyoos, you can probably get a development permit in three or four months," says Harris
.Shoreline is a joint venture between Ralli Estates and Wescirque Enterprises Ltd., which holds controlling interest, Hasskenson Development Corp., where Harris serves as general manager, and Darwin Construction Ltd.
The developers are building an offsite stormwater "ceptor" (i.e. storage tank) that will cost $80,000 to $100,000.
Watermark was approved by the local government in July after facing a lengthy delay - but not because of environmental issues.
"The challenge for our project was height," says Harris
."We made an application to build a 12-storey building last year and the town definitely didn't take kindly to a highrise in their community."
Shoreline felt it needed 10 storeys to make the project economically viable, so the company reduced the building to four storeys and spread it out over a wider area.Watermark will now include 30 townhomes and a 123-unit condo-style hotel.
"It all depends on how you engage the community," says Harris
says Shoreline will spend $200,000 to build its portion and an additional $75,000 to $80,000 to spruce it up with more appealing stones and other features, as opposed to concrete.
Defining a site's environmental sensitivity is difficult, given the pristine features of many B.C. waterfront locales.Many projects are not in or near national, provincial or other parks, but they can still evoke people's environmental sensitivities, says Harris