Revelstoke Year in Review 2013 – Part one

A large group of parents made their presence felt by showing up to school board meetings to push the Revelstoke School District to adopt a French immersion program. The board turned down their appeals in early April. - Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review file photo
A large group of parents made their presence felt by showing up to school board meetings to push the Revelstoke School District to adopt a French immersion program. The board turned down their appeals in early April.
— image credit: Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review file photo

Jan 9

Revelstoke residential property assessments drop by 7.87%

Residential property values in Revelstoke dropped by 7.87 per cent, one of the biggest drops for any municipality in the province. In contrast, commercial property values in Revelstoke jumped by 27.74 per cent, according to new figures released Jan. 2 by BC Assessment.

The numbers represent the change in the total value of all properties in each category.

The average ‘2013’ residential property value for a Revelstoke residence on the July 1, 2012 cutoff date was $324,000. That was down by $8,000 from the same date in 2011, when the average ‘2012’ residential property value was $332,000.

Okanagan region deputy assessor Tracy Wall said the change to the residential values was primarily driven by ‘market movement’ which totalled -4.82 per cent of the -7.87 per cent drop.

The big jump of 27.74 per cent in the commercial sector was driven by additions of new properties to the sector, such as completion of hotel projects, which drive up the total value of commercial properties in the municipality. In fact, the ‘market movement’ of commercial properties was actually negative, dropping by 1.14 per cent.

Jan 16

Employee nabs alleged voyeur at aquatic centre

A Revelstoke man has been charged with voyeurism after being caught by community centre staff allegedly trying to take pictures of people in the change room.

According to the Revelstoke RCMP, a community centre staff member was conducting their rounds when they saw a male who appeared to be using his cell phone to look under change room doors. The incident took place in the family change room.

“Obviously they run a pretty tight ship and they’re conducting rounds of the facility which is a very commendable thing,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

Man gets two years in jail for beating baby

A Revelstoke man was sentenced to two years in jail for what the judge called a “horrendous” attack of a “defenseless infant” by a “cruel and indifferent father.”

“These were serious, prolonged and countless attacks against a child who was the man’s responsibility,” said Justice Mayland

McKimm in Revelstoke court last Wednesday, Jan. 9.

The man, 20, who cannot be identified due to a publication designed to protect the identity of the victim, had previously pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm for a series of incidents against the weeks-old infant.

Feb 6

Large Revelstoke Adventure Park development proposed for Greeley area

Revelstoke-based development company Black Tie Properties has unveiled plans for an ambitious outdoor adventure centre in the Greeley Meadows area called the Revelstoke Adventure Park.

The phased five-year development proposes a wide gamut of outdoor activities targeting passing motorists.

The activities include mountain biking trails, hiking trails, zip lines, a bungee jump, tree top adventures, a mountain bike rental and repair shop, a mountain shuttle, a retail shop, rock climbing, a sky swing, an Ogo park (giant inflatable balls you ride inside), river rafting, a ‘fishpipe’ endless-loop waterslide, horseback riding with stables, a driving range, a bike pump park, a mountain lodge, chairlifts and an RV park and campground with about 150 treed sites, among several other attractions.


Black Tie Properties, through their holding company Illecillewaet Development LP, plan to locate the park on 100 hectares of privately-owned land in the Greeley Meadows area, in addition to 283 hectares of Crown land adjacent to the private property, including the northern foot of Mount Mackenzie.

Feb 27

Avalanche survivor remembers victim as ‘positive’ and ‘always happy’

Holger Achim Fritz was a passionate skier who loved the outdoors. On Friday, he was leading a group of five skiers into the backcountry beyond Greeley Lake when disaster struck.

“We knew it was dangerous but Holger was very confident. He was definitely the leader of the group,” David Fritzsche told me. “He was the first, he made the tracks.”

The group was skinning up from Greeley Lake towards an out-of-bounds run known as Birthday Chute early Friday afternoon. They weren’t planning on skiing the chute, but were instead going to descend along the ridge back in bounds.

The group was in the alpine and, recognizing the avalanche hazard, they decided to go one at a time up the slope. Fritz went first while the other four waited in what they thought was a safe spot.

“We waited for Holger to traverse. He was maybe 10 metres in front of us and we waited on a spot we thought it was safe,” said Fritzsche. “The guy behind me screamed ... I just saw from the right, coming from top, huge clouds, noise. I set my skis into the direction of the slope, pulled my backpack. Everything was white, there was snow in my mouth. I was tumbling, tumbling.”


Fritz, 24, from Stuttgart, Germany, worked in the rental/repair shop at the resort. Rob Elliott, the general manager of RMR, described Fritz as someone who loved skiing and the outdoors.

“He was a great, outgoing gentleman,” Elliott said. “He’s a very bright young man who was finishing school and he was following his passion for skiing and the outdoor lifestyle.”

March 6

Parents’frustrations build over French immersion issue

In an unusual display of solidarity, more than 20 parents – many with children in tow – showed up at Wednesday’s meeting of the Revelstoke Board of Education. They were all interested in creating a new French immersion program in the school district and wanted to make  presence known, even though the issue wasn’t on the board’s agenda.

In fact, they were there because of the lack of French immersion on the agenda. While superintendent Mike Hooker did bring up the numbers, there was no discussion by the trustees. It was the second school board meeting with no discussion since a special board meeting was held on Feb. 1 where parents Stephanie Melnyk and Vanessa Morrow made the case for the program.

The lack of action since then has them and other parents frustrated.

“The numbers talk is actually beside the point tonight in my opinion because there’s other work that needs to be done and at this point it’s not being done at all,” said Melnyk following Wednesday’s meeting. “We saw it wasn’t even on the agenda tonight to look at staffing, distribution of classrooms, all these other concerns that the trustees have, they’re not even discussing.

“It’s just non-existent. It’s very frustrating.”

March 13

Unified Development Bylaw ditched

Revelstoke city council has quietly killed the Unified Development Bylaw (UDB) – an ambitious overhaul of the city’s patchwork of zoning bylaws into a modern, unified system.

Work on the UDB began in 2010, and included public open houses, input sessions and work by an outside consultancy.

The demise of the UDB, however, was much less public; there was no standalone website with YouTube videos and interactive graphics – in fact, there was no announcement at all.

A Feb. 15 city report by planning director John Guenther outlines the steps to proceed with zoning changes on an independent basis, noting the demise of the UDB. “Council struggled with this one,” Guenther said in an interview with the Times Review. “It was seen as being too complicated.”

March 20

Saber-wielding robber tracked down and arrested

A woman was tracked down and arrested after a robbery at the Big Eddy Market last Tuesday morning.

Police said a woman brandishing a saber entered the store and robbed the lone employee of the proceeds from the cash register on Mar. 12.

As she left, the employee gave chase while a customer called the police. Someone else took up the chase until police eventually arrived and took over. They pursued the woman until she attempted to hide inside a home.

Police secured the residence and arrested the woman. The stolen money and saber were recovered.

March 27

Revelstoke man dies in avalanche in Glacier National Park

A 38-year-old Revelstoke man died after getting caught in an avalanche in Glacier National Park on Sunday.

Jason Chad Westbury was skiing in the Sifton Col area with two friends when the avalanche happened. RCMP said he was testing conditions in the bowl while his partners waited at the top of the ridge when he was caught and buried in the size 2.5 avalanche.

He was dug out of the snow by his partners. One stayed behind to conduct CPR while the other skied to the Rogers Pass Centre to get help.

Parks Canada’s visitor safety and avalanche technicians responded by helicopter, however Westbury died at the scene.

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