Kelowna Mountain project on route to undergo studies

Last week, the Regional Board gave first reading to a new Official Community Plan bylaw for the South Slopes neighbourhoods of the Central Okanagan east electoral area.

The OCP is the first for the area, which includes the electoral area outside the City of Kelowna boundary between June Springs Estates and the south portion of Lakeshore Road.

The draft bylaw identifies the property of Kelowna Mountain as a resort study area. A secondary planning process is required prior to consideration of any future change in land use.

The Kelowna Mountain project—a dream of developer Mark Consiglio's, who owns a 259-hectare property just south of Kelowna—is proposed to include a ski hill, mountain bike park, skating pond, championship golf course, suspension bridges, commercial village, resort and residential accommodations, winery and a community theatre.

The current land use of Kelowna Mountain is designated rural resource.

Ron Fralick, manager of current planning for the Regional District, said that the OCP is still in the early stages of development.

"We've only had first reading on the OCP bylaw—we are going to public hearing next month, so there could be further change. Nothing is in stone yet," said Fralick.

"Until we get past that public hearing a number of things could happen."

The public hearing is tentatively set for May 14; however, a location for the hearing has not yet been determined.

As the draft bylaw states, the planning process is to be clearly outlined in a terms of reference. A series of professional reports and studies will be required to properly assess the proposed Kelowna Mountain development.

"The City of Kelowna is going to be part of developing those terms of reference because the development is going to have an impact on the city," said Fralick.

"An in-house technical committee will be struck between district staff and city staff to ultimately develop those terms of reference to determine what studies need to be done."

The reports and studies may include, but are not limited to:

- Storm drainage, flooding/erosion issues

- Provision of community water and community sewer

- Geotechnical considerations

- Emergency services

- Visual impacts due to site modifications

- Environmental assessments as required

- Environmental considerations

- Assessment of parks needs and access to Crown lands

- Pedestrian and bicycle route evaluation and planning

- Provision of adequate road access/road linkages and impacts on regional transportation network and transit

- Compliance with objectives of Regional Growth Strategy

The developer will be responsible for all costs related to preparation of the planning study, including costs associated with hiring of external consultants to complete the study.

Fralick said he wasn't prepared to speculate how long the studies might take.

After the study, the Regional Board will decide whether the development or a subset of the proposed development should be provided for in the OCP.

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