The City of West Kelowna has endorsed a modified comprehensive development plan (CDP) for the future Smith Creek neighbourhood.
For the most part, the mayor and council spoke in favour of the development during the Oct. 27 regular council meeting. They said many of their previous concerns were addressed, and that the changes made them feel more comfortable moving forward.
Previously in August of this year, further consideration of the developer’s CDP was postponed due to concerns raised.
The project, a 900+ housing development on 154 hectares, has been proposed for the Smith Creek Road area, 3.5 kilometres north of the Westbank Centre.
Housing would be a mixture of approx. 683 single family units and 222 single-family cluster housing units.
According to a council report for the City of West Kelowna Oct. 27 regular council meeting, staff worked with applicant agent Protech Consulting to address concerns from the public and council, which included Smith Creek Road/Elliot Road improvements, and transportation-related concerns.
However, some highlighted the need for a solid development plan, referencing history with the developer, and previous concerns by residents.
”I think we’re on the right road here,” said Coun. Carol Zanon, however adding that the developer has already undergone hundreds of thousands of dollars in work on the project, in order to access different areas. She said this is not a part of the development plan, and was done without permission. She wondered ‘what to expect’ from a developer who works like this.
She also referenced issues with blasting times, repeated construction of the same area, construction areas left unsafe, and local area closures.
“It’s going to be lovely, it’s going to be beautiful, and I applaud it, but considering the past history of how this developer has treated the neighbours, I want to make sure there is a very solid construction management plan with this.”
The approval of this OCP amendment, which will rezone parts of the development area from RU5 Rural Resource Zone, moves the project along. However, it is expected to return to council in the future, where further public involvement will be required. None of the rezoned areas were marked as Agricultural Land Reserves.
All voted in favour of the amendment, and the motion was passed.
“Well done. Exciting. That’s a significant piece of our community. Twenty years in the making, and it’ll be another 20 years to build it out,” said Coun. Jayson Zilkie.