Kelowna city council will consider using the alternative approval process to accelerate building the long-awaited South Perimeter Road. The AAP puts the onus on opponents to meet a set threshold or the project proceeds.—Image: Capital News file

Controversial ‘approval’ process eyed for new Kelowna road

City council will consider alternative approval process to accelerate building South Perimeter Road

Kelowna city council will consider launching the alternative approval process at it regular meeting Monday to authorize the proposed funding agreement associated with accelerated construction of proposed South Perimeter Road.

“South Perimeter Road has been identified since 1995 in the city’s OCP, road network plans and 2030 Infrastructure Plan for construction once warranted by residential density on the South Slopes,” said Johannes Saufferer, the city’s real estate services manager.

“It is an important connection that will provide a third link in and out of the upper Mission.”

A development proposal to accelerate construction of the road was brought to the council by an area developer in 2015. The plan was approved after a community engagement process demonstrated general support for road plan to move forward earlier than anticipated.

The city says as the next step in the delivery of the new road—should council approve launching the AAP—it would seek electorate approval to proceed with an agreement with Ponds Ventures Inc. that redirects development cost charges collected from the Southwest Mission sector to be used to repayment construction costs for South Perimeter Road and the associated extension of Gordon Drive.

If the AAP is proceeded with, eligible City of Kelowna voters will be given 30 days to object to the funding terms. The onus would be placed on those who oppose the plan to meet the required threshold, not those who support it. The AAP will pass if fewer than 10 per cent of elector’s object by 4 p.m. on Friday March 16.

If more than 10 per cent oppose, the project will not necessarily be cancelled—council could decide to send it to a referendum vote for aproval. In that vote, those who support the plan would have to be the majority.

If plans for the road proceed, city hall says Kelowna’s 20-year Servicing Plan, Road Network Plan and Financing Strategy would be revised to prioritize South Perimeter Road, the Gordon Drive extension and Stewart Road West improvements over other previously planned transportation improvements, such as Lakeshore Road between Vintage Terrace to Dehart Road, upgrading the bridges over Bellevue Creek at Lakeshore Drive and Gordon Drive and the extension of Frost Road to Chute Lake Road.

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