May 20, 2016 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - South Okanagan Regional District directors continue to wait for a hydrogeological study on the Twin Lakes watershed prior to consideration of a developer’s variance permit to reduce maximum daily demand for water use in a proposed development at Twin Lakes Golf Course.
A proposal for 136 single detached residential units and 72 multi-family units on the property was proposed in 2008, but stopped by the provincial approving officer in 2012 due to concerns of unsustainable water supplies in the aquifer.
A decision on the variance permit now hinges on the conclusions drawn by the board after hearing the results of the study.
Chief Administrative Officer Bill Newell says the report has been completed but is still in the hands of the developer.
“We expect it to come soon, we know it’s been done but it just hasn’t been released by the developer,” he says, adding the present board needed to be brought up to speed because the issue had been ongoing for several years.
Newell says the complete report had to come back to the board for review in order for consideration of the variance to take place.
Twin Lakes resident Coral Brown continues to be concerned about cyclical water shortages in the Twin Lakes aquifer. She and several other area residents have maintained a strong presence at regional board meetings whenever the Twin Lakes development proposal comes up, and were also present in the gallery at the Thursday, May 19 board meeting.
“This is like one giant science experiment and if it doesn’t turn out right the result will be catastrophic,” Brown says, noting previous studies have said there is not enough data to make a decision regarding whether the aquifer can handle increased usage.
Brown expressed concerns the public may never see the anticipated hydrogeological report, since it is owned by the developer.
Further discussion is anticipated at the June 16 regular board meeting, where the deferred application is expected to come before the board.
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