Penticton city council says no to higher density in controversial subdivision | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton city council says no to higher density in controversial subdivision

A conceptual drawing of Canadian Horizons' proposed Spiller Road 'Vinterra' subdivision. Penticton city council refused to amend existing zoning that would allow higher density housing.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Canada Horizons Development Group
February 16, 2021 - 4:50 PM

Penticton city council has said no to higher density in a proposed controversial development on Spiller Road in the city's northeast corner.

The 300-unit single-family residential subdivision proposed by Canadian Horizons came before city council today, Feb. 16, in a bid to rezone the area to allow higher density construction in addition to amending the current Official Community Plan bylaw prior to the council beginning a lengthy public consultation process.

Councillor Katie Robinson proposed an alternative recommendation to deny first reading of the OCP and zoning amendments, saying she “firmly believed the correct zoning is already on this property, and that would be country residential.”

READ MORE: Canadian Horizons Spiller Road proposal

The property's current zoning allows for country residential housing and mobile home park housing, where the proposed changes to zoning would have allowed for a significant increase in density.

Most on council sided with councillor Julius Bloomfield's when he called the establishment of Naramata Bench as a destination one of the province's most successful marketing campaigns, saying the bench has added value because of it.

“The key to a great neighbourhood is to build to enhance the area. We have one chance to do this right,” he said, noting a lot of time and money had been spent by both the City and Canadian Horizons already on the proposal.

Coun. Robinson called the proposal “an urban project trying to move into the country,” while Mayor John Vassilaki said he did not believe the proponent and the City should keep spending money on a design that may not fly, calling the proposal “too large for my standards.”

Councillors Campbell Watt and Frank Regehr favoured further public consultation, noting there was misinformation about the proposal and a subsequent revision “out there,” but when it came to the final vote, council agreed unanimously to deny first reading of the amendments.

A report table at this afternoon's council meeting noted two petitions were circulating over the proposed development, with 15,000 signatures opposed and another with 13,000 in favour of it moving forward.

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