It’s “really early,” but efforts are underway to move forward with a hotel development at Blue Ocean Golf Club, according to Bob Heaslip, urban planning consultant working on behalf of Blue Ocean.
“We’re at the very start of this latest effort,” Heaslip told Coast Reporter.
Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers brought up the development during her director’s report at last Thursday’s Sunshine Coast Regional District board meeting, telling the public the District of Sechelt and Blue Ocean were looking to move forward.
She later confirmed with Coast Reporter that Blue Ocean representatives had met with Sechelt to “have our staff revisit the documents and the process that we’d followed to date,” given the staff turnover since the file had been active.
The rezoning and development permits needed for the hotel and the renovation of the clubhouse and restaurant had made it to third reading in November 2014 but have since been on hold because of lease negotiations.
The golf course is situated on a Crown lot and District lot. The land where the hotel would be built is located on the District portion, immediately adjacent to the existing restaurant and club.
The hotel would consist of two four-storey buildings with a total of 140 rooms, comprising studios and two-bedroom units between 440 and 1,000 sq. feet. One building would contain a gym and events centre, and a spa would be located south of the hotel. The buildings could be completed in one or two phases.
The building containing the pro shop and restaurant would also be renovated with an outdoor wedding event area created south of the restaurant.
Both Siegers and Heaslip attributed the renewed interest to the signing of the Foundation Agreement between shíshálh Nation and the province. The agreement indicates that shíshálh and the province will work with the District of Sechelt to transfer a one-hectare “golf course parcel” to shíshálh Nation as fee simple title, which is where the hotel would be situated.
Siegers said the shíshálh Nation will “need to have conversations with the province” to discuss how the one hectare of land at the golf course would be transferred to them, and what the “ownership model would look like.”
According to the Foundation Agreement, the parties have until the end of February 2021 to complete the transfer and if an agreement isn’t made, the province would have a month to provide shíshálh with a cash equivalent.
The District of Sechelt has been communicating with shíshálh Nation on the matter, but no formal meetings have taken place yet. Blue Ocean hasn’t yet met with the Nation.
Heaslip said Blue Ocean approached the District of Sechelt first since it is the acting landlord but that they plan to discuss the matter with shíshálh Nation. “We of course will work with both of them going forward. It’s not appropriate to have independent discussions,” he said.
“It’s been a long time since the approval, our development approvals have expired. We haven’t changed anything with respect to the design or the agreements, so therefore it’s a case of through the District and with the shíshálh Nation, having the discussion of how can we move forward given the Foundation Agreement.”
Shíshálh Nation did not provide comment by Coast Reporter’s print deadline.