Coldstream Station……. good fiscal management?

Mayor Garlick, in the Coldstream Community News that was published in June reported:

“the Coldstream Station parking lot, now under construction, with public parking, serviced spaces to accommodate mobile venders for events, and public washrooms. Additionally, a storefront will be privately constructed next to the south end of the Coldstream Station project, which Sun Country Cycle will move into.”

The initial proposal presented to the community showed that the area where Sun Country Cycle is building as an area for food and benches That now has now become a two-story retail building and as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) proudly states in Vernon matters:

“The building to the south will be a two-story, approximately 5,300 square foot retail space that will have sales, rentals and services available of bikes, e-bikes as well as some winter outdoor activities,” Seibel explained.

Image source: District of Coldstream Report – Kalamalka Road Commercial Development Permit for 16506 Kalamalka Road (Sun
Country Cycle – File 21-024-DP

In the initial proposal, all the land in the Coldstream station was owned by the Municipality. Mayor Garlick or CAO Seibel should explain the process on how the District subdivided part of the municipality’s property in January 2021 creating a small 750 m2 lot and then on July 16, 2021, finalized the terms of a sale to a numbered company for $260,000.

Did you know the District was going to sell this land?
Did you see a public offering of this land?

That the assessed value of the new lot the District created had an market value of $361,000 on July 1, 2021. The District sold for $260,000.

You will recall the real estate market of last summer was heated. A review of 13 property sales in Coldstream that closed between June 30 and August 4, 2021, shows that only 2 sold below the assessed value, one at minus 14.5% and the other at -2.4%. The other 11 sales averaged 25.2% over assessment with a high of as much as 47% over the assessed value.
Why was this lot sold for $101,000 less than the assessed value?

The Chronology of Events

November 13, 2020: The closing date of a request for expression of interest for “Coldstream Station Commercial” made by the District. See RFEI Request for Expression of Interest No. RFEI-2020-12 For Coldstream Station Commercial document.
5Cs could find no record of how many proposals were received.

November 23, 2020: District Council directed District Staff to enter into negotiations with representatives of Sun Country Cycles. There is no public record of that direction in the November 23rd council meeting minutes published on the Coldstream website. This disclosure was only revealed over a year later in the Coldstream Staff report, made to council, on February 28, 2022.

January 18, 2021: Coldstream subdivided the property creating Lot 1 plan EPP 108686 (the Sun Country Cycle lot)

July 16, 2021: District of Coldstream finalized the terms of the sale of the lot to 1312495 B.C. LTD

October 13, 2021: The sale is registered in the Land Title Office. The District of Coldstream registered a Right of First Refusal (RFR) on the lot should the owner decide to sell. The RFR expires at the end of 2069.

February 28, 2022: Coldstream Staff and Sun Country Cycle presented their plans to Council which included the following proposed concessions:

  • the commercial building be sited within one metre of District owned lands
    • the required off-street parking for the commercial use be shared on District owned lands designated for a Parking Lot.
      There were no details of what the cost sharing will be for shared parking, garbage or other services in the documents provided for the agenda.
Figure adapted from Request for Expression of Interest No. RFEI-2020-12 For Coldstream Station Commercial appendix “B”. The Sun Country Cycle building is located over the loading ramp.

The original plans of the RFEI had symbols for benches and food on the plan.

Parking Requirements

According to Schedule ‘C’ of Bylaw 1726, Coldstream’s parking regulations specify:
“Commercial, except as specified elsewhere in this section 4.4 per 100 sq. metres (1076 sq. ft.) gross leasable area”

The proposed building is approximately 495 square metres (5,328 ft2), by our calculations, the development should have provided 22 parking spaces. So, 23% of Coldstream Station is Sun Country Cycle parking!
This leaves just 75 spaces for public use.

Costs for Coldstream Station Parking lot and Washrooms

The land: was purchased in late 2016 for $550,000 funded from

Parks DCC from RDNO ($200,000)

The Regional District of the North Okanagan collects funds from developers, known as Development Cost Charges (DCC)

Land Sales Reserve Fund ($100,000)
Short Term Capital borrowing ($250,000).

Survey Costs to create the lot: Unknown
Demolition Costs: Unknown

Design: $44,950.50 by Meiklejohn Architectural Design Studio Inc.

Construction: $1,637,069, was awarded to TKI Construction of Kelowna.
The project construction is being funded by a provincial grant of $624,257 with the rest from the Community Works (Gas Tax) Fund.



97 parking stalls, Cost per parking spot $20,000 (includes the washroom construction)

The capital benefits to Sun Country Cycle on parking is 22 spots at an approximation of $20,000= $440,000

Equitable Treatment Amongst Business Taxpayers

The Rail Trail Café, Kalavida Surf Shop and Bike Rental enterprise down the road has an assessed value for their land only of $712,000 (not including the buildings). This property is 1865 sq. metres and includes their parking requirements for their buildings (for 443 sq. metres of net leasable area). Per the bylaw, they need to provide 20 parking spaces for their commercial operations. They currently provide 28 spaces.
These business are paying taxes for their parking spaces. Sun Country Cycle, it appears will not.

5Cs Questions for Mayor Garlick and the Council

1) Why did the District sell property for $101,000 less than market value?
2) Why has the sale and price not been disclosed?
3) Was the deal for “shared parking” part of the sales agreement?
4) There will be no tax revenue for the 22 commercial parking spots, is there any revenue for the District that Sun Country Cycle will be paying?
5) Will Sun Country Cycle be contributing to ongoing expenses like snow removal, landscaping maintenance, lighting, recycling and garbage removal?
6) How is this arrangement equitable for the other commercial taxpayers?
7) How many proposals did Coldstream receive and how were they evaluated?
8) Why was all this done behind closed doors?

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