West Kelowna Councillor Doug Findlater. (Photo contributed)

West Kelowna Councillor Doug Findlater. (Photo contributed)

School district needs to keep up with growth in West Kelowna: Councillor

Councillor Doug Findlater says the district needs to pay better attention to growth in the city.

A West Kelowna councillor has suggested School District 23 needs a ‘bonk on the head’ when it comes to planning for growth in the city.

Doug Findlater shared his concerns during a review of the city’s Official Community Plan (OCP) at the May 24 council meeting, regarding a comment from SD23 about the need for more school sites.

“That’s a little bit odd to me given that we just gave up a school site in Goat’s Peak,” said Findlater.

He added that in part because of rapid growth in the city and being dwarfed by Kelowna, the school district’s planning has not kept up with West Kelowna.

“We’re seeing patch jobs like tearing down George Pringle, rebuilding there, and dispersing elementary kids around the city. That reflects a lack of planning to me. We need to bonk the school district on the head to pay attention to what we’re doing over here.”

Findlater also said the city should continue to press the province to get funding for schools.

Overall, staff told council public and stakeholder feedback on the OCP was positive. Top issues included transportation planning, a range of housing options, as well as more affordable and attainable housing. Some councillors said they hoped the OCP would be ready for adoption by now.

“I’m not happy, but understanding and certainly accepting of the next steps,” said Councillor Rick de Jong. “I wish it could have happened faster coming into October and November. But I can accept this.”

Mayor Gord Milsom indicated he would like to see hard dates from staff for implementation of the OCP.

“Let’s put some dates on it if we can,” added Milsom. “Let’s have a good timeline when we know this is going to be complete.”

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City CouncilCity of West KelownadevelopmentOfficial Community PlanPlanningSchools