PENTICTON - A new hydrogeological assessment for a proposed development at Twin Lakes Golf Course should be made public in a couple of weeks.
The Okanagan Similkameen Regional District board was brought up to speed on the development today, May 5, which has been on the books since 1995 — longer than most board members — when the directors over 20 years ago approved rezoning to allow for the development of 258 residential units.
Since then the property has changed hands. Most recently, an application to build 33 single family strata units and 18 multi-family strata units was received by the regional district in 2008, part of the overall development proposal scaled down from the original, to 136 single detached residential units and 72 multi-family units.
The Provincial Approving Officer turned the proposal down in 2011, however, citing water sustainability issues in the Twin Lakes aquifer.
A request from the developer in the fall of 2012 for a development variance permit to allow for a reduction in water supply from 8,000 litres per single family unit to 1,900 litres per day was made, but deferred by the regional district until a new hydrogeological report could be prepared.
Chief Administrative Officer Bill Newell said the developer has applied for a variance to the regional district’s subdivision bylaw for a reduction in water supply. Regional district staff have reviewed a draft copy of the new assessment and are close to making a recommendation to the board.
Twin Lakes director Tom Siddon said it was a long standing question what happens to the water in the Twin Lakes watershed, noting a large number of Twin Lakes residents have been concerned over the proposed development and its effect on existing water supplies.
“It’s a contentious issue,” he said, adding the report should shed new light on water supplies in the Twin Lakes watershed.
A staff recommendation on the proposed development, based on the report, is expected at the next regional district board meeting.
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