West Kelowna council gives initial support to Shannon Lake driving range

There are still several hoops to jump through, but part of a Shannon Lake Road property is one step closer to becoming a golf driving range.

The property, located at 2110 Shannon Lake Rd., is currently being used as a hay field.

Terry Draginda, agent for the proposal, told council the driving range could be reverted back to agricultural use in the future as only temporary structures will be used.

He added the facility will be "professionally landscaped" and residents in the area won't be distracted by the noise of golf balls being hit as the tee boxes will be 460 yards from the nearest house.

Coun. Rick de Jong wasn't in favour of the request.

"I'm always very supportive of agricultural land; I don't like seeing agricultural land come out of production," said de Jong.

Coun. Duane Ophus added the addition of a driving range could change the character of the neighbourhood.

"We're talking about putting a gigantic fence up along Shannon Lake Road…it's a real significant change in land use we're talking about in that particular location," said Ophus.

But Coun. Gord Milsom said the driving range would be a "welcomed recreational addition" to West Kelowna.

"I just think this type of use would benefit our community much more than the current use," said Milsom.

West Kelowna's Agricultural Advisory Committee supported the application with the conditions that it be a temporary measure with no paving or permanent structures in order to preserve farmland until farming is more economically viable.

In a 5-2 vote, West Kelowna council supported the non-farm use request to allow a driving range on a four-hectare portion of the property. Ophus and de Jong were opposed to the motion.

It will now be up to the Agricultural Land Commission to decide whether or not a driving range is an appropriate use for the site.

Twitter: @PatersonWade


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