Harrison Hot Springs Council is currently meeting at Memorial Hall on Esplanade Avenue. (Adam Louis/Observer)

Harrison Hot Springs Council is currently meeting at Memorial Hall on Esplanade Avenue. (Adam Louis/Observer)

Harrison council considers revitalization tax exemption bylaw

First reading unanimously approved

Harrison Hot Springs is looking at ways to draw developers to the village.

Council unanimously approved the first reading of a revitalization tax exemption bylaw. The proposed tax exemption bylaw would offer tax exemptions to incentivize improvement to commercial areas in the village as well as affordable and rental housing.

The village is one of many communities across the province feeling increasing pressure of population growth and According to the 2019 Harrison Hot Springs Housing Needs and Supply Report, Harrison has an estimated deficit of about 185 affordable housing units at that time. The original revitalization tax exemption bylaw was repealed in 2018.

RELATED: Harrison housing market, needs might not match up: council

The proposed bylaw would be referred to Tourism Harrison River valley and Harrison-Agassiz Chamber of Commerce for their consideration and review.

In other council business, Mayor Leo Facio reported to village council during the Sept. 7 meeting, saying the village is awaiting word from the province for guidance on the

“I can assure you that this is not something put together to be thrown on the backburner,” Facio told council. “This has been a continuous discussion. We live where we live, and it’s not unique for a community to have one way in and one way out. We’re doing our utmost to keep tabs with the province on that.”

The proposed route would start near the existing Rockwell Drive communities; Rockwell is currently the only way in and out of portions of the village and the District of Kent. This affects 2,000 permanent residents and more than 10,000 people during peak tourism seasons.

RELATED: Harrison council approves Rockwell emergency route

The future route would follow an access road in Sasquatch Provincial Park to the Deer Lake Campground entrance to Mahood Creek. A bridge would be needed to cross the creek, which would connect Ruby Forest Service Road to Lougheed Highway.

Council voted 4-1 (Coun. Ray Hooper opposed), approving a development variance permit for a proposed 40-lot strata of single-family homes to be located at 798 Hot Springs Road. The variance pertains mainly to frontage size on seven units.

Council voted 4-1 (Hooper opposed) in favour of directing staff to identify problem areas on the Rendall Beach Pathway. This comes as a response from a letter of concern from a Lillooet Avenue strata council that particularly those using walkers, scooters or strollers would have trouble navigating the pathway due to reported ruts and sandy areas.

The village office will be closed on Sept. 30 in honour of the Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Hall. Live broadcast via Zoom is also available, and the link to the virtual meeting is available on the village website at harrisonhotsprings.ca.

The meetings are made available at a later date on the village’s YouTube channel.

City CouncilHarrison Hot Springs