Credit: Contributed

Peachland residents fight proposed OCP amendment

The Friends of Beach Avenue Association will be attending Tuesday’s council meeting

The District of Peachland is making a motion to amend its Official Community Plan, and residents aren’t happy about it.

At a regular council meeting scheduled for Jan. 9, a first and second reading is proposed to amend the district’s OCP “to provide clarification of height requirements at 5760 and 5766 Beach Avenue”

The amendment would allow a proposed five-storey commercial/residential development on Beach Avenue to continue.

Peachland residents, called The Friends of Beach Avenue Association, have criticized the district, saying the development does not align with the current OCP and that a five storey building is too high.

“Council is fully within its rights to move to amend the OCP but that is what they ought to have done in the first place in order to rezone the properties. There is a requirement for public consultation in order to amend an OCP,” the association said in a press release.

“Council rezoned these properties to allow for a five-storey building which is clearly, demonstrably, contrary to the existing Official Community Plan. We believe the Official Community Plan continues to accurately represents the views of a majority in Peachland.

“Now, council is going to consider an amendment to the OCP to specifically permit this five-storey building. This is the opportunity that we feel our community was entitled to all along.”

The group said it was in opposition to the introduction of tall buildings along the street.

The association also filed a petition to the Supreme Court of B.C. in November.

A report, which will be presented at the meeting, says “OCP policies are generally to be interpreted as preferred outcomes, not regulations. However, in this instance, legal challenge has been mounted to the zoning amendment which seeks, in effect, to treat statements concerning building height in the existing OCP as more in the nature of strict regulations.

“Accordingly, an OCP amendment is proposed to remove doubt, and to make it clear that the zoning amendment and the proposed development are consistent with the OCP.”

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