A proposed addition to La Vista in Summerland has been rejected by Summerland council. The proposal called for a four-storey, 17-unit building. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

A proposed addition to La Vista in Summerland has been rejected by Summerland council. The proposal called for a four-storey, 17-unit building. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland council rejects seniors housing expansion

Proposal called for four-storey, 17-unit building at La Vista

An application to construct a four-storey, 17-unit multi-family building at the La Vista development in Summerland has been rejected by council.

A public hearing was held March 8 on the Official Community Plan and zoning amendments for a development proposal for 9800 Turner Street. The proposal was to represent the final phase of the La Vista development, which began in the early 1990s.

Summerland’s community plan encourages infill development within the Urban Growth Area and the 2017 Affordable Summerland Framework encourages housing diversity, including multi-family developments.

READ ALSO: Affordable housing proposal for Summerland passes first two readings

READ ALSO: Developments add to Summerland’s housing supply

Richard Strafehl, the developer of the project, said the housing would be designed to be senior oriented, for those who are downsizing.

“People are looking for places where they can age in place,” he said

However, Steve Rowe, who lives in the La Vista development, believes the development would change character of their neighbourhood. He said residents have signed a petition and sent letters to Summerland council.

“An open demographic apartment block would not be compatible with our retirement lifestyle,” he said, adding that the development would result in a shift of demographics at La Vista.

Members of Summerland’s municipal council had mixed reactions to the proposal.

“It meets a lot of the criteria that I look for as a councillor,” said Coun. Van Alphen

Coun. Richard Barkwill said he wants the development to conform to the existing concept at La Vista.

“They’ve bought into one project and now it’s going to be something different,” he said.

Coun. Erin Trainer would like to see some changes considered in order to fit the development into the rest of the neighbourhood. “There is some room for compromise here,” she said.

Mayor Toni Boot also suggested the development should conform to the area. “This is an already established neighbourhood. The form and character needs to fit,” she said.

The application was defeated with Barkwill, Coun. Doug Holmes, Coun. Doug Patan, Trainer and Boot opposed.

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