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:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Heat drop five-set battle to Huskies

Heats’ Shawn Zao impressed in his first outing of the conference season

Moalin’s 20 point night not enough to beat Cascades

The Heat fell to the Cascades (87-69)

Heat defeat Huskies in five-set nail biter

Jade Bussard would lead the way for the Heat finishing with 16 kills and 13 digs

Penticton United Church welcomes Makers’ Market Nov. 23

From baking, to knitting, to toys and everything in between, get your Christmas shopping done early

Big White receives 17 cm of snow

Opening day is only a couple weeks away, scheduled for Nov. 28

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read