No firm land deal for South Okanagan seniors project - InfoNews

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No firm land deal for South Okanagan seniors project

A deal to build seniors housing on donated Okanagan Falls Legion property has apparently run into difficulties, but so far Legion Central Command in B.C. are not discussing the issue publicly.
December 16, 2016 - 4:31 PM

OKANAGAN FALLS - Neogotiations to build seniors housing on Okanagan Falls Legion property have slowed due to issues surrounding the land for the project and a huge grant from the province may be at risk.

Local politicians and the B.C. government recently announced a $4.5 million dollar grant to build a 35 unit seniors’ housing complex on properties owned by the Okanagan Falls Legion.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Area 'D' Director Tom Siddon stated earlier this month in Skaha Matters, a newsletter, based out of Okanagan Falls, the project "may not be possible due to internal difficulties at the local legion branch, and a failure to obtain adequate input and approval from the BC and Yukon Central Command.”

When asked about the situation with the seniors housing project, Siddon said he couldn’t discuss the matter further.

“We’re talking about land values and zoning issues, that’s all going on right now,” he said, adding he thought more would be known in a week or two.

“I don’t think we’ll be walking away from the grant. That’s an important announcement and Okanagan Falls has been waiting a long time for a seniors project of this size," he said. "As far as I’m concerned I’m going to find a way to make this happen."

Shelley Coburn with theRoyal Canadian Legion in B.C. refused to answer any questions pertaining to the issues hinted at by Siddon, saying she "wasn’t in a position to discuss it right now."

The project is being spearheaded by the South Skaha Housing Society, who were negotiating a lease with the Okanagan Falls Legion for use of three of four lots donated to the legion by a former community resident.

Housing Society president Robert McLeod said he did not wish to comment, as negotiations between the legion and other property owners are ongoing. 

"We're still talking to BC and Yukon Command. Neogotiations are going on, and we're also looking at other properties as well. We've got more than one negotiation going on," he said.

A fourth lot, owned by the Catholic Diocese, is being negotiated for purchase by the Legion. Siddon also noted Legion members “gave an overwhelming majority” to president Wayne Knight to acquire the property at a recent meeting.

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