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West Kelowna's mayor puts onus on developers to come up with housing options

West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom speaks to the Greater Westside Board of Trade, Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
March 04, 2020 - 2:23 PM

West Kelowna Mayor Gordon Milsom’s annual State of the City address was full of statistics about what the City has done in recent years, projects that are coming up and the assurance of more projects to come.

“West Kelowna will continue to grow,” Milsom told more than 100 people at the Greater Westside Board of Trade luncheon today, March 4, adding it’s up to developers to provide the range of housing types and prices that will be needed to house an additional 9,000 people expected to be added to the population by 2036.

That’s an estimated 4,600 new housing units needed.

The current population sits at 36,000, up from 27,000 in 2008.

After receiving a good round of applause when he talked about the new City Hall that council agreed in February to borrow money to build over the next few years, Milsom deflected media questions about some opposition in the community.

“The (response) has been very positive,” he said. “I’ve talked to many people and there’s been very much support. If people have concerns, our door is always open for them to come and talk to us.”

He would not offer a preference for where such a facility should be located, saying it was up to staff to come up with options and that there will be public consultation before final plans are drawn up.

The mayor stressed building the Rose Valley water treatment plant is the City’s number one priority, pointing out that clean water is essential to attract residents and workers to West Kelowna.

That, along with major upgrades to Glenmore and Gellatly Roads and a new fire hall over the next few years, will bring jobs to the city, he said.

On the City’s to do list is to continue lobbying for an Urgent and Primary Care Centre, getting rid of the Speculation Tax and getting a second B.C. Hydro line to the city. The City is arranging for meeting with provincial ministers in May to pursue those goal.

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