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Letter: Peachland abandons their OCP

As a community we are left wondering how did that happen, and why

To the editor:

The Official Community Plan (OCP) is not a guide—it’s a master plan.

Peachland council arrogantly and defiantly scuttled it while constantly preaching sustainable development. What a contradiction.

As a community we are left wondering how did that happen, and why?

Why do Peachland councillors feel compelled to comply with every single demand made by the developer, including re-zoning and allowing a raft of variances, in order to be able to fit this monstrosity (PeachTree Village) onto those two undersized lots?

Personal gains? Or were they bamboozled by aggressive lobbying and deceptive smoke and mirror presentations to try and convince them the city must grow at any cost?

The financial viability of any project is of absolutely no concern to our council.

The current OCP combined with the inclusive ‘sustainable downtown plan’ is the result of a long and costly consultation process with the participation of a group of UBC professionals and the whole community is as detailed and inclusive as ever before.

There was not one single, obvious nor compelling reason to abandon it.

The OCP supports sustainable growth, and so do the people.

Peachland council did not only challenge the integrity of the OCP, they challenged the very reason for having one. Height and density are the two most compelling criteria in any development proposal. Removing them, and the OCP becomes irrelevant.

That is why an OCP must become a bylaw, and it must also become a referendum issue.Then it becomes enforceable, and being a referendum issue the criteria is certain to be defined by the people, before it becomes law.

Developers have only one interest in any project: Return on investment. The higher the structure and the more units, the bigger the profit.

Today the sky is the limit.

Andy Thomsen, Peachland