A plan by Monte Creek Ranch Winery to build an 1,800-seat amphitheatre for music concerts took another step forward today (Nov. 24, 2016).
A rezoning allowing for the amphitheatre was approved at third reading but subject to development of a noise-management plan.
After a lengthy public hearing, Director Ken Gillis, in whose Electoral Area L the winery is located, moved that third reading be approved.
But I moved an amendment that it only be approved if the winery agrees to “an acceptable and enforceable” noise-management plan secured by a voluntary covenant.
Residents in Area P across the river are very concerned about the potential for noise disturbance by loud concerts at the amphitheatre and as their representative I felt they deserved consideration.
While I think the winery, and the entire wine industry in the Kamloops region, is exciting both for the economy and lifestyle, the peace and quiet of those who live nearby have to be part of the process. The worst thing would be for the project to be the subject of ongoing complaints year after year.
Other options today included a temporary use permit or simply turning down the application.
Both my amendment and the main motion were approved, which means TNRD staff and the winery will now develop the plan. I see by an article in Kamloops This Week that Eric Fisher, general manager of the winery, is concerned the requirement for a noise management plan might delay construction of the amphitheatre to 2018.
Since he told the public hearing, in answer to a question I asked him, that a noise-management plan is already almost finished, I would think the process can be carried out in a timely manner.
It will be much better to have a completed plan that covers all necessary aspects of noise impact and mitigation than it would have been to simply plunge ahead without any written assurances. This way, residents can be properly consulted by the winery and understand the steps the Monte Creek Ranch Winery will take to ensure it’s being a good neighbour.
Fischer also told Kamloops This Week, “A big part of me would like to see people making progressive decisions and deciding to not sit on the fence and, based on empirical evidence, make decisions that are going to move this industry and this region forward.”
If he was talking about the decision by the board today, nobody was sitting on the fence, and this was a good decision that should have good results all round if the situation is approached with a positive and consultative attitude.