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Major West Kelowna development delayed

The proposed Blackmun Village resort development, pictured in this artist's rendition, has been delayed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of West Kelowna
January 08, 2019 - 4:24 PM

WEST KELOWNA - The massive Blackmun Village resort proposed for a waterfront property along Okanagan Lake in West Kelowna has been delayed at the developer’s request.

But it may take longer to move forward than Blackmun Village spokesman Robert Moskovitz may have expected.

“We need more work to be done to see if we can come closer to a win-win development,” West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom said in making a motion that will mean the public hearing, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 6, will be delayed.

The project calls for about 500 residential and hotel units above Campbell Road and a 241-slip marina in Okanagan Lake below in what is known as Casa Loma, just south of the Bennett Bridge.

The developer, under direction from the former West Kelowna city council, drafted a new zoning bylaw specific to that site. He was directed by council not to go above eight to 10 stories, after initially proposing 12.

Milsom argued that the previous council, in a sense, supported such a massive development by talking about an eight to 10 storey project.

Coun. Rick DeJong, who was a member of that council, disagreed with Milsom’s portrayal of what they intended. He said that council was concerned about the density and height of the proposal.

First reading of the bylaw was given in June 2018 but the developer asked staff to delay the public hearing until after the October 2018 election that saw four new councillors elected to the seven-member council.

Today, Jan. 8, Moskovitz asked council to delay the public hearing again. He asked for the project to come back for a second reading of the bylaw in February, instead of a pubic hearing, so information about the proposal can be updated.

“We want to make sure we’re not spending our time (at the public hearing) arguing numbers back and forth and facts back and forth, but that we’re talking about people’s feelings,” Moskovitz told council.

The motion that council passed unanimously calls for further public information sessions, which could take some time to hold.

While it was not part of the motion, councillors also wanted to push for a second access to Campbell Road plus information on water supply, traffic impacts and the depth of Okanagan Lake where the marina is proposed.

Road access is of particular concern as another 400 more housing units are proposed along Campbell Road, including one by Westbank First Nations next door to this one with 275 units. That could add another 900 units. Currently there are about 250 homes in the Casa Loma area.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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