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“In a study we just completed, it actually identified that we have limited industrial land available,” she said. “We’ve also been told by various community groups, including real estate agents and various other people, that we have a lot of commercial space available… but we have very limited industrial space.”
McLeod added that it does not work well when an office space is placed next to an industrial space.
“You cannot have a professional office next to a welding company that’s welding all day long,” she said. “It’s an industrial park, that’s what it is and I’d like to see it maintained as that and I think this is the only way we can.”
The idea that industry is coming to Pemberton isn’t a realistic one for Cam McIvor, part owner of a company that has helped to develop the industrial park.
He said in an interview with Pique that office and professional use is needed in the park because there isn’t a lot of industry moving to Pemberton.
“Industry itself is not a significant contributor to Pemberton’s economy right now,” he said. “There is some industry, there’s welding out here and a little bit of heavier industry, however most real, large-scale industry has moved to China.
“Most industrial parks or business parks in the province allow business and professional offices to exist.”
McIvor also said that people in the VOP want to see trail networks and new recreation facilities — in order to do that, he said the community has to look at its “revenue side” to achieve those goals.
Sturdy said council voted against the bylaws because it is already making amendments to its Official Community Plan and other bylaws regarding two other commercial areas along the highway and in the Portage Road area.
He said councillors are concerned that development of the Portage Road area is already taking vibrancy away from its downtown core.
“What we want to try and create downtown is an interesting, vibrant, walkable community,” Sturdy said. “The more we sort of spread out to the highway and along the highway, the more we’re sacrificing the vibrancy in the downtown core.
“Council made a decision to limit the office use in the industrial park, because they felt that it was important to maintain or encourage those office businesses to locate in the downtown core, because it’s those people there, it’s that activity there, it’s that vibrancy created when you have density.”