Greenbelt rezoning for housing proposal

Lake Country council to weigh merits of new subdivision

A Kelowna firm wants to rezone a three-hectare Okanagan Centre property to permit construction of a single-family home subdivision of up to 40 lots.

Canada West Realty Ltd. is behind the proposed development bordered by Okanagan Centre Road West and McCoubrey Road and both the Heritage Pines and Heritage Ridge subdivisions.

To allow for the project to proceed would require a land rezoning from rural residential (RR2) to single family housing (RU-1) and public park and open space (P1), which falls within the desired land use delineated in the Official Community Plan.

District staff are also calling for a traffic flow analysis to be done prior to the rezoning application going to public hearing, and that a covenant be put in place to provide buffering and support tree retention in the neighbourhood.

The rezoning will come before council on Tuesday of first and second reading before being advanced to the public hearing stage.

Sonja Janzen, president of Canada West Realty, said she and her late husband have owned the property for more than 20 years, at one time wanting to develop it in half-acre parcels, a proposal rejected by council in favour of supporting a future higher density residential project.

Janzen said the proposal will likely be less than 40 lots, perhaps 38, and provide an affordable housing option for families looking to move up and retirees, offering a mix of ranchers, walk-out ranchers to 1.5 storey design options.

“We want to create a neighbourhood that is appealing and attractive,” Janzen said.

The development is another example of what is an increasing trade-off issue facing Lake Country council—preserving natural environment greenspace against the need to provide more housing options in what is the fastest growing community in B.C.

Janzen said the existing flat greenspace has evolved into a makeshift park, a pine-tree wooded area for nearby residents to walk their dogs and go for hikes, along with a location for occasional high school grad bush parties.

Besides maintaining a green environment, Janzen said the construction phase will have minimal impact because of the access to the property off McCoubrey Road, allowing construction traffic to avoid driving through existing neighbourhoods.

“I know that was an issue for Heritage Pines residents when the neighbouring Heritage Ridge was built, but our property will ultimately create another access and exit road point for Heritage Ridge off McCoubrey,” Janzen noted.