The City of Castlegar owns 39 acres of land near the West Kootenay Regional airport. Photo: Betsy Kline

Package handling facility and other offers provokes Castlegar airport road upgrades

CAO says if development pressure continues, there is a potential to be building this road next year

Pending deals and increased interest in the 39 acres of land near the West Kootenay Regional Airport has prompted the City of Castlegar to take action on further developing road connections from Hughes Road through to Highway 3 near the weigh scales.

Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow says that developing the road is vital to ensuring purchases and projects can move forward.

“It is quite certain from staff discussions with the development community that there is significant interest in the property and we are going to need this design sooner rather than later,” said CAO Chris Barlow at Monday night’s council meeting.

“If the development pressure continues, there is a potential to be building this road next year.”

The city has already accepted an offer on 3.38 acres of land for a package handling facility. Until everything is finalized with the property purchase, the company involved does not want their name released.

The city also has an offer to lease three acres to Cannabis West Development for a craft cannabis industrial park. The deal includes an option on an additional 15 acres.

RELATED: City of Castlegar gets offer on airport lands

Talks have also been ongoing with a developer regarding purchasing another eight acres.

The city is proposing that traffic for the package facility would be routed through the existing airport road connection, but future developments towards the southern end of the lands will be accessed through a new intersection to be constructed in 2020 or 2021 depending on development needs.

The city has already prepared a traffic impact analysis for the package handling facility and the Ministry of Transportation will be reviewing it.

The city will spend about $115,000 for a detailed design of the road connection. It will take the project to a tender-ready stage.

A zoning bylaw amendment was also introduced at the council meeting for the same lot slated for the package handling facility to permit warehouse use on a 1.43 hectare portion of the lot.

The current zoning only allows for warehouses of less then 900 square metres in size and not as the principal use of the property.

The bylaw still has several steps to go through before it can be adopted including public hearings, and input from the regional district and Ministry of Transportation.

RELATED: Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

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