Kelowna council supports Bennett family plan to have land taken out of ALR

The family's company, McIntosh Properties is proposing several agricultural "mitigation" measures to counter removal of land on Springfield.

Kelowna city council has thrown its support behind a bid by the Bennett family to have land it owns on Springfield and Copper Roads taken out of the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve so a multi-million dollar residential and commercial development can be built on it.

The Bennett’s McIntosh Properties say it is willing to put 21.4 hectares of land in Oyama into the ALR, spend $1.75 million on agricultural improvements to land throughout the Okanagan and pay for the relocation of 15,000 cubic metres of top soil from the Springfield Road property to help rehabilitate a former gravel pit in the city in return for Agricultural Land Commission allowing 9.5 hectares on Springfield and Cooper Roads out of the ALR.

The two properties are located across the road from the new Target store in Orchard Plaza Shopping Centre and the InVue residential highrise tower.

All but Coun. Mohini Singh supported the removal bid at Monday’s council meeting, with several councillors praising the plan.

Coun. Gerry Zimmerman described the lengths McIntosh Properties is wiling to go to get the land out of the ALR as “textbook,” in terms of agricultural impact mitigation efforts.

The development the company wants to build would include 500 rental apartments in clusters of four to six-storey buildings and 200,000-square-feet of commercial space.

The bid had the support of city staff.

MaYor Walter Gray said the also needs to be mindful of the need for more rental accommodation in the city in future years.

But, as was noted in a presentation by city manager of subdivision, agriculture and environment Todd Cashin, the plan also has its opponents.

A total of 18 letters of opposition and concern were received by the city after the proposal went to the city’s agricultural advisory committee in the spring. Many of the opponents live in the InVue building across the street.

But councillors like Andre Blanleil, said while the land may be viable for farming, it is hemmed in on three sides by urban development and the liklihood it would ever become a working farm is remote.

It is, however, bordered by a farm on the south side of the Cooper Road portion of the property.

To address that, the company is proposing a 24-metre buffer that would include a road and a raised berm that would have trees planned on top.

Council’s support is considered critical to the province’s Agricultural Land Commission considering an exemption from the ALR for the land.














Just Posted

UPDATE: Kelowna man given 4 year sentence after creating pimp operation on dating site

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Recovering Kelowna addict rises above her past

Victimized by systems suppose to help, a woman tries to fix her life

Plugged in: Kelowna teen thriving with professional eSports U.S. team

Russel Van Dulken turned his love and skills of gaming into a career

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Okangan author shorlisted in B.C. historical writing competition

The BC Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing will be awarded together with $2,500 to the author whose book makes the most significant contribution to the historical literature of British Columbia.

Most Read