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Peachland project to double town's population up for public comment

Peachland residents will get a chance to ask questions about a development that's expected to double the town's population in the next couple of decades.

The District of Peachland will hold a public hearingĀ  Tuesday night (May 20) on the New Monaco project, which once completed will add 2,600 to 2,800 new homes to a 125 acre parcel at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 97C.

Peachland Mayor Keith Fielding said he doesn't expect the public process to cause much controversy, as the developers of New Monaco have been "exemplary" in the way of public consultation.

And from what he's gathered at those meetings, the community feedback has been positive, despite the project's significant size and scope.

"The project will take place over a period of 15 to 20 years," he explained.

"It's a different business model. Their approach is to attract healthcare, education and tech businesses, and develop a commercial component that spins off to a residential development."

Once completed the project is expected to double the city's 5,000 population, and Fielding said it appears as though it will add value to Peachland's current amenities.

"I think that they are going to complement each other. This will have it's own central village area, and downtown Peachland and Peachland waterfront will be a major attraction," he said.

A significant financial spin-off for the district is also welcomed.

"It's a big increase to our tax base, and all of the infrastructure costs will be paid for by the developer," he said.

If all goes ahead as planned, Fielding conceded may ruffle some Peachland residents who would "prefer to keep Peachland small."

"It has a nice small community feel, but if we don't grow, the cost of staying small is tremendous," he said.

Infrastructure will inevitably need updating, and as that happens, the burden will fall on the tax payer. So, the more tax payers there are, the easier that load will be.

The New Monaco project isn't the only one that's expected to stretch the capacity of Peachland.

The Ponderosa project in Peachland is also slated for a 15 to 20 year build out that will add another 2,000 plus residents in the area.

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