Kelowna Law Courts. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)

Kelowna Law Courts. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)

Developer sues City of Kelowna for ‘bad faith’ decision to reject subdivision

City council previously voted 7-2 in favour of staff recommendation to nix Thomson Flats project

A developer has filed a petition against the City of Kelowna for nixing a project it has been envisioning for 20 years.

Canadian Horizons has filed a petition against the city for shooting down a proposal to build a suburban subdivision in Kelowna’s Upper Mission area. The Thomson Flats project would’ve covered 255 hectares at the city’s southern boundary, between Chute Lake Road to the west and Bellevue Creek to the east. The subdivision was originally planned to build 1,200 new residences before settling for only 680 homes.

The developer claimed planner Dean Strachan, the city’s approving officer, allegedly rejected the subdivision in bad faith and his reasons were made on a totally inadequate factual basis. It also said that Strachan did not exercise his independent judgment on valid criteria for the subdivision and the city is denying the application for a reason beyond an approving officer’s jurisdiction, making it unlawful.

Strachan, however, rejected the subdivision because the land was designated as “Future Urban Reserve” which forbids a subdivision to be made in the area. He also cited concerns about steep slopes (approximately 30 degrees) and potential development in environmentally sensitive areas.

The petition comes after Kelowna city council voted against the Thomson Flats proposal on March 1, siding with staff’s recommendation of non-support for the project. Councillors cited financial and policy concerns, as well as the significant traffic the neighbourhood would create.

The developer proposed an extension to the under-construction South Perimeter Road, but council said that the extension would mostly benefit the Thomson Flats residents with little impact on the rest of the Upper Mission.

In the end, the proposal was denied with a 7-2 vote in favour of staff’s recommendation. Councillors Brad Sieben and Mohini Singh wanted more information before voting to nix the project entirely.

READ MORE: Kelowna council shoots down Upper Mission subdivision after 8 years of planning

READ MORE: Kelowna mayor condemns anti-vax card protest at hospital


@paulatr12
paula.tran@kelownacapnews.com

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