Kettle Valley middle school site could become housing

A proposed shift of a middle school from South Kelowna's Kettle Valley to The Ponds will be put to public hearing.

Town square at Kettle Valley.

Kettle Valley residents may not be unhappy with the plan, but Kelowna city council is sending it to a public hearing anyway.

On Monday, council voted to send a proposal to develop land in the middle of the residential development at the far south end of the city to a Jan. 10  public hearing to hear what the public has to say. The site was originally slated for a middle school.

mapMany residents have already spoken out, saying they want the green space, which includes a soccer field, to stay that way.

City staff support the proposal to build homes on most of the eight-acre site, part of which will be left as parkland to expand nearby Quilchena Park.

As part of the plan, the soccer field will be rebuild to city standards in the new parkland area.

The developer, Kettle Valley Holdings, wants to build 82 single-family homes and multi-family row housing units on the land.

When Kettle Valley was first planned, the land was set aside for a middle school. School District 23 had an option to buy the land but has not.

Now the school district wants to locate a new middle school in The Ponds neighbourhood, still in the Upper Mission area but east of Kettle Valley. It built Chute Lake Elementary, just outside of the Kettle Valley development, in 2009.

City staff say the Kettle Valley Comprehensive Residential Development Plan allows for 1,028 units in the development and so far it is 228 units short of that target.

While councillors voted to move the proposal along, some, including Charlie Hodge and Mohini Singh, warned they may not support it depending on what they hear at the public hearing.