Applause from the gallery after the latest round at city council to change the future land designation of Kelowna Springs Golf course.
Coun. Luke Stack was successful in getting his colleagues to vote in favour of his motion to begin the process of changing the designation from industrial to private recreational.
“It was a bit of a bumpy road but as you can see from the gallery there is a strong amount of interest in our community about this issue.”
Coun. Ron Cannan had made a motion to defer the issue for six months so council could gather more information and hear from the developer that bought the golf course, as well as the public, something Stack wasn’t in favour of.
“Because we’re saying we’re happy with leaving it an industrial designation and I’m not,” said Stack.
That motion was defeated and Stack’s original motion was passed.
There was frustration from some councillors that the designation may keep changing if the developer came up with a plan that council could approve of.
“I don’t want to see us switch the Official Community Plan and then six months down the road if we decided we liked the idea go back again,” said Coun. Rick Webber. “The great Kelowna city council golf flip-flop.”
The golf course is currently zoned P3 parks and open space, but in the 2040 OCP, approved by council last year, it was earmarked for future, potential industrial use.
A 2022 staff report to council projected a significant need for industrial lands in the city over the next twenty years to keep pace with demand. Stack agreed the city does need industrial land going forward.
“But at what cost? I would like to keep our best recreational land and also bring industrial lands on.”
Staff will prepare bylaw and OCP amendments for council to consider at first reading during a future meeting. If it passes the matter would be sent to a public hearing.
A report on current and future lands that might suitable for industrial use is also being prepared by staff for council consideration.
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