West Kelowna residents speak out against large proposed development

Hundreds show up at a public hearing on the Blackmun Bay project and urge council to reject it

West Kelowna city council has heard loud and clear from Casa Loma residents—they do not want a huge new residential and hotel development in their lakefront neighbourhood.

More than 430 people packed into the Westbank Lions Community Centre Wednesday night for a public hearing on the Blackmun Bay project, most there to voice their opposition to the proposed development.

The project includes plans for four nine-storey buildings, three with apartments and townhouses and one housing a hotel. A total of 520 units are proposed along with a 421-slip marina.

Representatives of the developer, Landstar Developments, touted the economic benefits of the project to the entire city, talked about extensive consultation with the public and pointed out the original plan to include 15-storey towers was scaled back to nine-storey towers.

READ MORE: Casa Loma residents petition to halt proposed Blackmun Bay project

But the majority of those who spoke at the public hearing Wednesday night, said they felt the project was too big and in the wrong location. They said the services in the area, such as roads, sewer, water and fire fighting response would not be able to handle the development without millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded improvements.

“This is a square peg in a round hole,” said Ryan Holt, representing the Casa Loma Community Association.

“The developer has overreached.

One of the main concerns of the association is a lack of emergency routes in and out of the Casa Loma Neighbourhood, located just south of the west end of the W.R. Bennett Bridge.

Currently there is just one road in and out of the area, Campbell Road.

There are about 300 homes in the area, and residents said they feared years of construction, increased traffic congestion and other impacts that would not only affect their quality of life but the value of their properties.

More than 30 people spoke in opposition to the project, urging council to reject it.

READ MORE: Community ready to take on huge West Kelowna development at public hearing

But not all the speakers who addressed city council were opposed.

A handful spoke in favour, saying the project would be good for the city and the estimated $2.1 million in annual tax revenue from the development once complete would help the local economy.

But opponents countered with dire warnings of years of having large trucks driving in and out of the area as a huge amount of dirt and rock would have to removed in order to build the towers into the side of the steep cliff that forms part of the property.

They also fear the quality of the water the area now receives from Okanagan Lake could be jeopardized if the large marina is allowed to go in and traffic congestion in the area and on the Bennett Bridge will increase.

Fire chief Jason Brolund said the city’s ladder truck, needed to fight high rise fires, is located 12 kilometres away in Westbank and fire fighting response times, even from the closer Lakeview Heights fire hall would lower more than current guidelines recommend.

Despite the overwhelming opposition at the meeting, Landstar Developments president George Mylonas urged council to approve the project, saying to do so would be a legacy the current council would leave.

He called the opposition to the project “NIMBY-ism.”

The five-hour public hearing closed Wednesday night with no decision from council.

A decision will be made at a future council meeting.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Just Posted

Kelowna man’s child porn collection ‘traversed the spectrum of depravity,’ court hears

Terry Krock was caught in possession of between 7,000 and 12,000 child porn files

City of Kelowna moving temporary shelter off Recreation Avenue

Sheltering space moving to 890 Baillie Avenue, expected to be completed this week

BC Green Party looking for Central Okanagan candidates

The party only has two confirmed candidates: Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen

Evil Dead: The Musical to perform at Kelowna Actors Studio

The performance is a comedic, live stage show, of the cult classic film trilogy

Professional basketball league eyes Kelowna for possible expansion

The CEBL was the first Canadian professional sports league to successfully complete its 2020 season in a bubble format

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

EDITORIAL: Clearing the smoke

Wildfires have resulted in heavy smoke and poor air quality

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

UPDATE: Person safely pulled from Vernon creek culvert

First responders from multiple agencies assist in getting individual out of the creek

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police watchdog investigating after man injured in Penticton RCMP cells

Man suffers serious injuries after being lodged into cells at the detachment

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Most Read