It’s official—Mission Hill Family Estate Winery will get a facelift.
Council voted 5-2 in favour of adopting bylaw amendments to allow for the expansion of the winery.
The expansion will add a hotel, a restaurant, a wellness centre, a conference centre, an art gallery, a wine museum, guest cottages and a microbrewery to Mission Hill’s property.
“This is a win for West Kelowna as a whole,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.
“I do see that there are benefits for all of the district, both short-term and long-term.”
Findlater said he acknowledges the traffic issues that may come with the winery expansion.
“For me, it’s a high priority to review the traffic control mechanisms to basically discourage shortcutting in the neighbourhood,” he said.
“I also would like to explore the idea of no trucks on these roads at night time.”
Coun. Gord Milsom felt that the development would help put West Kelowna on the map.
“Such a quality development will increase the image of West Kelowna, not only as a tourist destination, but also as a year-round business and conference destination,” said Milsom.
Couns. Bryden Winsby and Rosalind Neis voted against the winery expansion.
“We are dealing with substandard roads. We have no plan, at this point, to improve them. That may or may not happen down the road,” said Winsby.
He said this expansion may also be a gateway for more development in the Boucherie area.
That is also the main concern for area resident Zanie Mollica.
“I’m very, very disappointed,” said Mollica.
“I just think that this particular development is opening the door to a whole valley of (similar) types of developments.
“It’s going to completely change the whole setting of the region.”
Mollica lives near Mission Hill Road. She sees vehicles speeding down Boucherie Road constantly. She fears the expansion will make the problem worse.
“Boucherie Road is already a highway, it’s not a country road.”
Although Mollica isn’t planning on moving, she said that the decision to approve expansion will have a substantial effect on her.
“It’s definitely going to change our future plans. I’m disappointed in the fellow who owns Mission Hill and I’m disappointed in our elected officials,” she said.
“I’m hoping the councillors who voted against it will fulfill their promises to oversee everything and make sure that it isn’t going to have a (negative) impact on the community,” Mollica said.