Just how fast is Lake Country growing? (David Venn - Calendar Staff)

Lake Country is growing: but by how much?

Lake Country’s development exceeds previous years

You hear it all the time, Lake Country is growing.

With a population of 14,027 in 2018, 1,878 more than 2013, the 13.4 per cent increase over the five year span ranks Lake Country as an 11 per cent contributor to the overall population of the Central Okanagan (2016).

In 2014, Chief Administrative Officer Alberto De Feo stated in the annual report: “We have experienced a boom in construction and, as a consequence, a higher than usual building permit numbers. We hope this to be the trend for a few years to come.”

In 2013, there were 204 building permits that equivocated to almost $30M in value. Five years later, there were 378 building permits handed out, worth a touch under $95M.

“There’s a lot of aspects that go into development,” said Mark Koch, director of community development. “It certainly moves the economy.”

READ MORE: “It’ll happen again”: Lake Country council has no answers for flood victims

Development can pose threats to current residents, according to one local man.

During the June 18 council meeting, a resident raised a complaint about constant construction that has been going on for four years on Shoreline Way, depriving him and his neighbours of sleep and dirtying their properties.

However, Koch claims development can increase the quality of life in the area by adding extra tax dollars to the base and creating local opportunity and community centres.

“Growth is investing in communities,” said Koch. “In the broader [sense] of the economy, people tend to invest in Lake Country.”

READ MORE: Baby locked in a car at Walmart in Kelowna

Although he cannot predict what the rest of 2019 will offer in terms of building permits and development, Koch said the first few months have looked “solid” and if they keep up, it could look like a strong year.

“I’ve been here 11 years [and] the numbers and construction levels have increased,” said Koch. “Construction is growing swiftly.”


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