A rendering of the proposed development. (Contributed)

City of Kelowna moves 100-home Upper Mission development to public hearing

The next phase of the Ponds development recieved preliminary approval from city council

The public will get its chance to give input on the next phase of a massive Upper Mission development project.

City council passed the 100-home addition to the Ponds development at the end of Gordon Drive on Monday. It will now go to a public hearing, which will ultimately decide the fate of the addition.

But the vote was not without its concerns from councillors.

Coun. Charlie Hodge was concerned about the environmental impact of the development.

He cited a portion of the city staff’s report, which read: “There are environmentally sensitive habitat features for a range of sensitive wildlife species, including wildlife trees, talus slopes, and cliffs that occur in pockets throughout the property.”

City planner Alex Kondor assured Hodge that an environmental assessment had been carried out.

“Ultimately, it concludes the environmental impact on the property can be appropriately mitigated. The environmental assessment does determine what areas are highly environmentally sensitive, as opposed to moderately or low. This proposed layout is meant to avoid any of the highly environmentally sensitive areas.”

Coun. Loyal Wooldridge shared Hodge’s concerns, but was also hesitant due to traffic concerns and transit availability.

“We hear from residents all the time about traffic congestion, especially coming from the Upper Mission and the reality of transit probably not reaching that area for quite some time,” said Wooldridge.

Kondor said residents of the area were worried about potential congestion during the open house for the project in October 2019, but mentioned Gordon Drive will eventually be extended to connect with Stuart Road as part of the city’s south perimeter road project, potentially easing some traffic concerns.

Development cost charges from the development will go directly towards funding the perimeter road.

The timeline for road construction is anticipated to become more clear after an archeological impact assessment is completed in the spring.

There is no set date yet for when the project will go to a public hearing.

READ MORE: Kelowna council sends proposal back to public hearing due to changes

READ MORE: Kelowna ends two-tier tax paying penalty


@michaelrdrguez
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