Crowd boos at approval of new Peachland development

At a council meeting Tuesday night, members of the public voiced their disapproval

A new development in Peachland received jeers and boos at a recent council meeting as it was given the green light.

On Tuesday night, council voted 6-1 vote to rezone land for the PeachTree Village, a five-storey commercial/residential development on Beach Avenue.

Not to the pleasure of some attendees of the meeting.

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she gave the crowd three warnings, then had to recess the meeting.

“It was probably one of the most obnoxious meetings I’ve ever seen,” she said.

Fortin estimated there were 40 people in attendance.

“At one point they were booing, and they were booing at everything we were saying,” she said. “It was disappointing.”

“I’ve received more support for that building than the naysayers and I think it’s going to be a great development and we need it.”

One of the concerns from the public was the new building will be five storeys high, where Peachland’s Official Community Plan lists three as a maximum, “but that’s not a legal-binding contract,” said Fortin.

Fortin said the plan was made more than 10 years ago.

“When it was done, if the people who worked on it knew what we know now about development downtown, they might’ve come back with different recommendations,” she said.

At a public hearing for the development, Fortin said the district received a majority of positive feedback.

Co-owner of the project Gaetan Royer said in a statement “our team appreciates that this is big change for the neighbours, but it is entirely consistent with what Peachland has been trying to do for decades, to bring year-round daytime activity downtown.

“Summer tourism is great, but it only sustains seasonal business. Our ground floor retail space will add shops that support tourism but it’s our office space that will bring year-round jobs and the kind of economic activity we need in Peachland.”

The development will be built at 5760-5766 Beach Avenue and will offer 10 homes and 10,000-square-feet of office/retail space.

The completion date is set for early 2019.