Farmers rally at Penticton City Hall to oppose proposed Naramata development - InfoNews

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Farmers rally at Penticton City Hall to oppose proposed Naramata development

Farmer John Bilodeau addresses a crowd in front of Penticton City Hall this afternoon, Sept. 15, 2020. City residents opposed to a proposed subdivision rallied at city hall.
September 15, 2020 - 4:49 PM

A proposal to build a 350 unit residential subdivision near Campbell Mountain has raised the ire of a number of Penticton residents in the area.

Canadian Horizons, a Vancouver-based developer, has a proposal before Penticton City Hall to build a mix of single family and townhomes on 163 acres of land within city boundaries off Spiller Road, near the Campbell Mountain landfill.

The proposal would also see a business park and agricultural land use designated in the plan.

Around 100 people opposed to the proposal met at Penticton City Hall this afternoon, Sept. 15 to protest the plan.

That included a number of area agriculturalists, who lined the 100 block of Main Street with their tractors.

Josie Tyabji said residents found out about the proposal in June. She began a petition that now has around 8,500 signatures on it.

“The intent of the petition was to give mayor and council and city staff feedback on what the people of Penticton were thinking,” she said at the rally this afternoon, as those congregating waited for the mayor and council to adjourn from this afternoon’s council meeting.

She said local wineries had worked hard to build the Naramata Bench as a tourist destination, as had the city.

“All we are saying is to take the elements of the Official Community Plan which was a fantastic development by the city and build where developments exist. Let’s maintain that vision so that we keep all the things that bring people here pristine," she said. 

Tyabji said the group “wasn’t anti-development at all” but said the existing zoning with rural lots should be maintained.

A crowd of around 100 people gathered to oppose a proposed 350 unit subdivision near Campbell Mountain in Penticton.
A crowd of around 100 people gathered to oppose a proposed 350 unit subdivision near Campbell Mountain in Penticton.

“There are a lot of reasons to shut  this project down, or try to – the environment, the traffic, the urban sprawl, the wildlife, but today, it’s all about these people with tractors,” group spokesperson John Bilodeau said, addressing the crowd. “They love this land. They really care about this land."

Penticton Director of Development Services Blake Laven says the city has an application for residential development from Canadian Horizons that would require a zoning change from country residential and mobile home park (12 acres) to a mix of large and small lot single family residential and park zones.

He said the planning department is in the process of reviewing the proposal.

The earliest the item could come before council is November, which Laven says would likely make it too late for zoning approval this year.

He said in an email a public open house and information meeting and public hearing would be required after council introduction.

Tractors lined the 100 block of Penticton's Main Street this afternoon.
Tractors lined the 100 block of Penticton's Main Street this afternoon.

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