JF Customs is planning to relocate to industrial lands the Town of Osoyoos has established adjacent to its airport property.
The move was facilitated by a Council decision Monday to rezone the property to allow for indoor automotive storage, repair and restoration and sales and a caretaker suite for the building.
JF Launier, who owns the business and currently operates out of a property on the corner of Hwy. 97 and 62 Ave., told Council he expects to “start building this fall.”
“I’ve already met with the builder on site,” he said. “I basically need to be operating out of this facility by spring.”
His haste is predicated on the development of the Area 27 racetrack facility outside of Oliver. The private motorsport society expects its track to be paved by early September, with a first event scheduled for early October.
“The racetrack that’s coming and the clientele that I’m trying to take care of is something that we’ve never experienced,” Mr. Launier explained to Council.
“It appears that I am the only person opening my arms to 160 members to say, ‘Hey we’re in business and here to help you fulfill some of your dreams.’ ”
The business’s new location would provide year-round services to the members.
“[Members would] improve their driving abilities during the summer and throughout the summer they would maintain the cars and make sure they function and the cars would reside in Osoyoos,” he said
Over the winter, he added, his business would “store and fix some of the cars that will be here and make improvements.”
The lone concern expressed by Council to the rezoning was the impact it might have on the Wine Country Racing Association, which has an agreement with the Town to use the airport strip and often sets up near and sometimes on the property.
But Mr. Launier indicated his business would be accommodating, noting he was part of the team that started the club about 12 years ago.
“As far as having a neighbour in that area, you couldn’t do any better than having somebody that helped start the club and supports it strongly,” he said.
Following a brief public hearing at which Mr. Launier was the only participant, Council quickly voted to approve the zoning amendment.
“We’d like to see some activity up there and let the community know we’re serious about future development,” said Counc. Carol Youngberg.
Mayor Sue McKortoff indicated she was pleased with the addition of the new business to the industrial area, even though it involves the relocation of an existing Osoyoos business.
“We know most new businesses in Osoyoos are off-shoots of one’s that are already here,” she said.