Loseth Road residents voice concerns over new Kirschner Mountain development

The proposed development will have an eventual connect between Loseth and Gallagher

Several Black Mountain residents are voicing their concerns about a proposed development on Gallagher Road that will eventually connect to Loseth Road.

The development is part of the Kirschner Mountain Joint Venture and will introduce 77 townhouse units spread out among three, four and five plex buildings. The developers submitted a rezoning application, which went to a public hearing on Tuesday, June 23.

A portion of the property at 2980 Gallagher Road is zoned for agricultural use, which the developers want to be rezoned into a hillside cluster to accommodate a multi-family development.

About 70 residents living on Loseth Road, where Gallagher Road will eventually connect are opposed to the development. However, only 10 attended the public hearing, due to social distancing, to speak to Kelowna City council about their concerns.

Some brought up safety issues with traffic, claiming more residents living on Kirschner Mountain could lead to a higher risk of vehicle incidents, with more drivers using Loseth Road.

“There’s no engineering plan on any traffic calming. There is no way people living on this mountain will go around Gallagher Road. They’re going to come down Loseth Road, so you’re increasing the density there,” a resident said.

“We all want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but you’re putting multiple families so far from downtown where all the services are.”

Other residents said they were worried about police and emergency crews being able to access the new neighbourhood. There was also an issue with the risk of flooding.

“The other concern is there’s no egress from (2980 Gallagher) other than Loseth Road. We had a flood a little over a year ago that impacted the area below the Phase 5 development and it caused property damage and municipal service damage to the properties below. If anything like this happens along Loseth Road, we’re landlocked. We have no way to get out,” said one resident.

Council approved the rezoning application to go to a second and third reading. Mayor Colin Basran said he supports the application as it gives more housing options in Kelowna’s suburbs.

“This is in keeping with our Official Community Plan. I think of our other suburban neighbourhoods like Wilden, Kettle Valley, McKinley and others, there’s a mix of housing types including multi-family so this isn’t out of character for our suburban neighbourhoods,” he said.

Basran added that in the city’s next community plan, they will be asking for more mixed housing within the city’s core instead of expanding the urban sprawl, but recognized options are still needed in the suburbs.

He said the residents’ road concerns are valid and asked staff to report back on the plans for Gallagher Road.

READ: Kelowna council supports 625-capacity downtown wine centre

READ: West Kelowna winery expects a 25% drop in visitors this summer

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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