Platform Properties has withdrawn a temporary use permit application that would have allowed development of a structure for concerts and other events at The Cottages resort on Bullock Lake.
The Salt Spring Local Trust Committee was expecting to review the application at their next meeting, having voted in June to defer consideration until September. They had also recommended the applicant work with the community to bridge ongoing concerns about noise, traffic and the potential impact to the water table in the area.
Platform’s head of development and acquisitions, Andrew Sinclair, chose not to go into the company’s reasons for the withdrawal.
“Our intention was to assist the PitchFork Social — a valued community event — bring it onto the property and bring the broader community onto the property, and obviously it didn’t come to pass,” Sinclair said.
Planning staff had recommended issuing the temporary use permit with a number of modifiers in place that would have addressed some community concerns. The most recent draft limited amplified music to 12 nights per year, limited noise to 60 decibels at the property line, had concerts end by 10 p.m. and required operators to bring in water and portable toilets.
The decision not to continue with the application has been upsetting for PitchFork Social producer David Youngson, whose concert series was to have been the primary user of the new space. Youngson feels the permit’s proposed guidelines would have been more than sufficient to meet any neighbourhood concerns, but he also feels Platform Properties had no choice but to bow out.
“It’s very frustrating. You can do every single thing they ask and it still doesn’t matter because a few people don’t want it,” Youngson said, adding he feels those concerns were misplaced and stemmed from bias against the previous owners of The Cottages development. In contrast, he counted close to 200 letters received in support of PitchFork Social and the proposed move.
For more on this story, see the Aug. 26, 2020 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.