Mission council rejected a third bid from Mountain Falls Retreat to operate a special events venue at 34201 Laxton Ave. last Monday. However, in consideration for events already booked, the district will not be shutting down the operation until June 22.
Mayor Ted Adlem asked the item be returned to the table after the applicant met with each councillor to try to convince them to change their minds.
The applicant, Steve Kaldis, and his manager Maria Silva, weren’t able to sway their earlier decision.
“This is a good business concept done completely the wrong way,” said Coun. Jenny Stevens, adding council has to make a stand and not allow developers to change their property without getting the appropriate permits and licences.
Everyone, especially the district, has to respect the bylaws, added Coun. Nelson Tilbury.
Coun. Tony Luck was the only one who wanted to move the application forward to a public hearing.
Silva, who joined the Mountain Falls team this past January, was disappointed with council’s decision and offered her apologies to the families affected.
“We really tried,” she said.
Kaldis explained he had relied on a former employee to follow the proper channels, and he neglected to check their work.
Mission’s deputy chief administrative officer, Paul Gipps, said the district expects the business to work within the regulations as it winds down its operations.
Mountain Falls will host four weddings, an engagement party and a graduation reunion for Hatzic Secondary School before it shuts down. There are six other weddings booked after June 22 which would have to be cancelled, said Silva.