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Twin Lakes proposal to address environmental, water concerns

The regional district board will be looking at the Twin Lakes development proposal again at tomorrow's meeting, Aug. 2, 2018.
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August 01, 2018 - 4:56 PM

PENTICTON - A controversial development coming before the regional board tomorrow may answer concerns about the proposal’s affect on the area’s environment and water supply.

A phased, multi-use development proposed for Twin Lakes Golf Course is being presented in a new proposal to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board of directors. The proposal addresses some environmental and water sustainability concerns by rearranging and densifying residential areas on the golf course’s two parcels of land.

Subdivision plans for the Twin Lakes Golf Course, located 12 km west of Highway 97 on Highway 3A, date back to 1975.

Many Twin Lakes residents are concerned about groundwater availability, so part of the proposal involves stipulations proving groundwater sustainability and availability prior to proceeding beyond the proposal’s first phase of 46 units.

The applicant hosted a community open house in February, and a public information meeting about the proposal was held in June, prior to a meeting of the area’s Advisory Planning Commission. The commission then met to put together the recommendations being put forward to the board tomorrow.

The developer will be restricted by a covenant following construction of the first phase until water sustainability can be proven. He will also be expected to build a water and sewer system to proper specifications, to eventually be acquired by the regional district.

The proposal would also see the elimination of subdivision zoning on one of the lots designated a resource area zone at the same time increasing density of residential units around the golf course’s clubhouse, an item consistent with Official Community Plan bylaws.

The rezoning proposes up to 232 new residential units and tourism facilities to be constructed over the next 25 years.

The applicant’s report to the board also includes comments from residents and other stakeholders. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations are recommending a consultant be hired to assess environmental values, as the proposal has a high and very high conservation warning.

Fortis B.C. says local electrical infrastructure will require significant extension work, the cost of which “may be substantial,” and will be attributed to the applicant.

Letters from residents were both for and against the proposal, with most of the objections centering around environmental and water issues.

Twin Lakes resident Coral Brown, who is a long time opponent of the proposed development, said the issue is not about how much water is under the Twin Lakes Golf Course, but how much water is in the whole system, calling the Twin Lakes watershed already over allocated. She says the proposed changes to the multi-phase development won’t improve the Twin Lakes waterway or create sustainable water.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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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