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South Slocan Dam getting it done

The FortisBC administration building is one of three being demolished at the South Slocan dam location. — File photo

The site of the South Slocan Dam will be undergoing a facelift.

A variance was given to FortisBC to undertake the demolition of three old buildings on-site and refinish the grade which required the installation of a retention wall and railing at the South Slocan Dam site.

Although the land is outside the city, it is still owned by the city.

The property is zoned reserve zone (RZ), but the lands are an anomaly for Nelson as they are not within the municipal boundary. The lands are instead reserved for public utility uses.

The city received an application to vary the subdivision and bylaw to:

Vary the aesthetic appearance of a retaining structure made of lock blocks to:

  • Allow the structure to have three courses of blocks instead of two courses of blocks and to allow the top surface of the retaining structure to have exposed locking stubs;
  • Allow the exposed sections of the wall to have a cement finish instead of exposed aggregate or a granite finish; and
  • Allow the structure to be constructed without a concrete footing.

“In this case they will be behind a fence and within an enclosed structure. They won’t be visible. So we have no issues with requesting this variance,” noted the city inspector.

On the property there are a number of buildings associated with the South Slocan Dam which was commissioned in 1928. The 41.23-acre lot sits along the Kootenay River.

FortisBC has applied for a building permit to demolish three existing buildings on site (warehouses and an administration building) but, as part of the demolition, retaining structures needed to be built to match existing grades.

FortisBC recently moved its operations to its’ $23-million operations centre near Castlegar. The 10-acre piece of land houses a 23,000-square-foot office space and a 7,000-square-foot warehouse that replaces the aging infrastructure in South Slocan. The new facility includes material storage, increased staging and crew space as well as an emergency operations centre.