The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is taking a Greenwood resort to court over a slew of alleged bylaw violations.
The regional district is asking a provincial court to enforce 18 tickets against Jewel Lake Resort (JLR) under B.C’s Offence Act, which provides for prosecution in the case of major bylaw infractions, according to the province’s website and RDKB spokesperson Frances Maika.
“It was a last resort,” Maika said, prefacing “a history of (the landowner) failing to comply despite numerous visits, warnings and tickets” by an RDKB bylaw officer.
The dispute dates back to last October, when Maika said the officer began investigating complaints about alleged land use violations at JLR, roughly two kilometres north of Highway 3, between Greenwood and Eholt. The officer found that four cabins had been put up without building permits and too close to a property boundary on one of JLR’s 11 lots. All four cabins were found to be encroaching on a nearby “water course.”
The officer put up a stop-work notice on one of the cabins on Oct. 28, which Maika said was ignored and illegally taken down.
The officer further alleged that a large swathe of JLR’s campground was illegally operating on Crown land, which Maika said was not zoned for commercial use. JLR had also built a deck on a pre-existing cabin allegedly built on Crown Land, again without a permit. Maika said the RDKB in late May issued the tickets under two RDKB zoning bylaws.
Sina Steiger, part-owner of JLR, said she was prepared to concede the RDKB’s tickets relating to the four cabins.
“Our understanding was that if we put little cabins on cinderblocks, like tiny homes, we wouldn’t need a permit,” she told The Times on Tuesday, June 22. JLR is prepared to move the cabins to an appropriately zoned spot on the resort’s property, she said.
Steiger also said RDKB had denied her permit application to repair the deck on the pre-existing cabin.
JLR is prepared to accommodate all of the RDKB’s requests for bylaw compliance, with the notable exception of the campsites allegedly operating on Crown Land. The contested portion of land holds 19 of JRL’s 35 spots. Losing that many campsites would seriously hurt JLR’s business, Steiger said, adding that the campsites were well-established when JLR bought the property in 2018.
The dispute is due to appear before a provincial court on Aug. 24, according to Maika and Steiger.