Land rezoned for future health centre
Its construction is not happening any time soon.
But the land earmarked for a new West Kelowna health centre has finally been rezoned to allow it to be built some day.
The zoning bylaw amendment to rezone the southern portion of the property at Brown and Bering Roads in Westbank received final approval earlier this week by council.
Following a lengthy delay, the land, which is in the Agricultural Land Reserve and was only partially approved for development of the health centre, received the zoning change.
Despite being a priority for Interior Health in the past, the brakes have been put on the health centre project because the health authority says money is needed more for other projects elsewhere in the region.
The health centre was slated to be a two-storey building that would have offered day surgeries, emergency care and a host of medical care to Westside residents, saving many people a trip to Kelowna General Hospital.
Because the property is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the new zoning permits both agricultural and institutional land uses.
The commission that oversees the reserve only allowed half of the property to house the medical facility.
The other half, it said, had to be returned to agricultural use. The site is currently bare and fenced off to the public.
Interior Health owns the property. It says funding is not in place to design or develop a facility at this time.
West Kelowna council has said it wants the public and local doctors to help push for the health centre by pressing IH for its return to the priority list.