West Kelowna denied extension to hold referendum

West Kelowna council met on May 26 to discuss the City Hall/Civic Centre project, and chose to restart the approval process.

West Kelowna city council convened a special meeting on May 26 to discuss next steps in the City Hall/West Kelowna Civic Centre Project.

On May 24 the city received a letter from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development advising that it is denying the West Kelowna’s request for an extension to the legislated requirement to hold a referendum on the City Hall Project Borrowing Bylaw within 80 days.

In a press release, the City of West Kelowna said it made the request for an extension after electoral approval was not obtained through the Alternative Approval Process held in May. The city had sought the extension in order to avoid holding a referendum on the matter in the summer when many voters are away on holidays and West Kelowna’s forest fire threat is greatest.

West Kelowna council was provided options for how to proceed including conducting a referendum in July on the bylaw which proposed borrowing up to $10.5 million for the construction of a new City Hall, abandoning the bylaw altogether or restarting the approval process.

Council unanimously chose to restart the process and rescinded the first three readings of the City Hall Project Borrowing Bylaw and requested staff to return with options for council’s consideration at the June 14 council meeting.