A proposed townhome build with a more than 200-slip marina is pushing some boundaries in West Kelowna, despite a massive reduction in size.
City council gave the reworked development a first look last Tuesday. The proposal has shrunk from its initial 500-unit multi-building development, now boasting just 60 homes. Still, both council and city staff had some concerns about the imposing size of the marina, now proposed for both commercial and private use.
City planning manager Brent Magnan said the developer is looking to build the 242-slip marina with 156 stalls for public use, 30 stalls for visitors, 50 for the townhome residents, and four for emergency docking. The developer also applied to allow a winery near the area on Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
Magnan said the city’s Advisory Planning Committee supported the plan to rezone part of the area to accommodate the low-density townhome build but had concerns regarding the marina and agricultural land use amendments, citing impacts from marina use and parking, impact on water quality, impact on the adjacent agricultural land, as well as potential loss of agricultural land.
He said staff recommendation is to reduce the moorage capacity to 60 stalls to correspond with the residential build, making it an entirely private moorage instead. Overall, staff recommended that council support the OCP and zoning amendments and limited access to the foreshore.
Coun. Doug Findlater said he didn’t support the proposal, especially regarding the developer’s original moorage plan.
“Two-hundred and 42 (slips) is huge… if it’s something small and it relates to the housing units there, I can probably live with that,” he said.
“Personally, after this summer, I’m fed up with boats on the lake (interfering with firefighting efforts)… I cannot support this in this form.”
The developer’s agent CTQ Consultants Ed Grifone, attended the meeting and addressed some concerns.
“This is an extraordinary piece of real estate and we sincerely feel that it can add very nicely to West Kelowna’s economy, housing supply, tourism and agricultural benefit,” he said.
Grifone said the team has studied the effects of a large marina in the area, consulting residents and the Westbank First Nation. Their findings indicate the 242 slip moorage can be accommodated.
“The proposed development will bring $75 million investment to the area and a sizeable investment to West Kelowna,” he said.
Mayor Gord Milsom said he supported the number of proposed homes and staff’s recommendation of developing moorage based on the number of townhome units.
The proposal passed first reading. City staff will now work with the developer to prepare water, sewer, transportation, geotechnical, environmental and servicing before the second hearing, then a public hearing.