Kelowna decides not to 'rush' decision on controversial golf course redevelopment | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna decides not to 'rush' decision on controversial golf course redevelopment

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It’s a question that comes back again and again to Kelowna city council: What to do with Kelowna Springs Golf Course?

After numerous lengthy debates dating back most of year, city council agreed today, March 20, to take the question to a public meeting, June 6.

“It feels like this is being rushed for a reason that I’ve yet to see... other than we’re impatient,” councillor Loyal Wooldridge said during the council meeting. “There’s a lot of fallacies being said today, like this is enough time. How do we know this is enough time?”

The golf course was designated as future industrial land when a new Official Community Plan was adopted just over a year ago. While there were attempts by the last council to change it back to recreational, those failed. In the meantime, the golf course was sold to Denciti Development Group.

Councillor Luke Stack filed a notice of motion, Jan. 9, to have the land revert to recreational use and today Mayor Tom Dyas suggested that it go to a public hearing, roughly six months since the issue was raised.

The developer had asked to speak to council today but was turned down. Instead, he will be allowed 15 minutes to make comments at the public hearing in June then he'll have 10 minutes to answer questions raised by the public.

The only issue at today’s meeting was about when the public hearing should be held with Coun. Wooldridge and a couple of councillors suggesting six months from now, in the fall.

“What is wrong if we went six months?” councillor Mohini Singh asked. “Is there anything that could happen in those six months?”

She didn't get an answer.

Councillor Ron Cannan pointed out that this council has 3.5 years left in its term so any decision on the ultimate use of the land will be made by this council so there was no need to rush.

Earlier this month, Denciti CEO Garry Fawley told that he needed six months to not only rally support from the business community for industrial uses but to also put a more comprehensive plan together that, he hoped, would be a ‘win-win’ for all concerned.

READ MORE: Why more time is needed to decide fate of plan to redevelop Kelowna golf course

But, he won’t get that full six months.

“I know the public wants us to move on this,” councillor Maxine DeHart said. “We’ve had many many emails on this saying: ‘Let’s get this going.’”

In the end, the June 6 date was supported by the majority of council, although Dyas said it isn't necessary to make a final decision that day if more information is needed.

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