The owners of the Burns Lake Return-It Depot have requested that the Village of Burns Lake (VBL) lease a section of village property to them should the owners relocate.
According to a letter submitted to VBL council by depot owner Dokjun Kim, his current recycling operation will have to expand in order to satisfy increasing demands coming from waste stewardship programs like electronics recycling and the Multi Materials BC (MMBC) printed paper packaging program.
Kim is considering purchasing the building at 640 Hwy. 16, the vacant building across Hwy. 16 from Husky and the old Route 16 restaurant (currently vacant). Kim’s application to council would allow his business to lease the vacant lot beside 640 Hwy. 16 for parking, deliveries and pick-ups during business hours.
The property meets zoning requirements for Kim’s business, and a VBL staff report written by VBL chief administrative officer Sheryl Worthing recommended that council grant permission for a lease agreement with Kim’s business for use of half the vacant lot for parking.
Although the motion was passed, counc. Frank Varga voted against the motion over concerns about the relocation of the recycling centre to the proposed location. Varga explained that his concerns were not related to Kim’s current business, which he uses often and has no concerns with.
“Even though it’s [640 Hwy. 16] zoned as such, it’s not in my mind a good location,” Varga said. “I am concerned when we start locating recycling facilities on the main drag. I know it’s currently on the main drag, but it’s not in the line of sight, in comparison to where it might be going.”
According to Worthing, the owners of the property which the Return-it deport currently leases are not interested in allowing Kim to expand his business.
“Staying there and expanding is not an option,” Worthing said.
Councillor Chris Beach reported having had the opportunity to discuss the move with Kim previously.
“One of the reasons they want to move is to have something that looks better,” Beach said. “The new building won’t need the extra outside storage the current location has.”
Given that the property in question has the appropriate zoning requirements for a recycling facility, village council has little say in the matter.
“In a general sense, we don’t have an influence over who purchases what property,” Mayor Luke Strimbold said.