Frind Estate Winery, owned by tech entrepreneur Markus Frind, has been developing 900 acres of land in Vernon, including 820 acres on the mountainside south of Bella Vista Road. (Frind Estate Winery photo)

Frind Estate Winery, owned by tech entrepreneur Markus Frind, has been developing 900 acres of land in Vernon, including 820 acres on the mountainside south of Bella Vista Road. (Frind Estate Winery photo)

Winery developer issued cease-work order after flooding in Vernon neighbourhood

Runoff from the Frind Estate Winery project has flooded multiple Bella Vista homes.

After residents sounded the alarm about their homes being flooded by overflow from a large winery development above Vernon’s Bella Vista neighbourhood, the city says work is underway to address the issue.

The City of Vernon says heavy precipitation in January led to the flooding issue below the vineyard project, and staff have ordered the developer — Markus Frind, the founder of major online dating website Plenty of Fish who also owns Kelowna’s Frind Estate Winery — to cease work until the issues are resolved.

“There is site clearing work being done in the area to facilitate a vineyard,” city communications manager Christy Poirier said in a Friday news release. “The city is working with the developer to ensure that this work meets bylaw requirements, including addressing issues that may arise during the site preparation process.”

Property owners in the affected area have contacted the city, which has answered questions related to the stormwater issues.

“Where appropriate, they have been directed to the developer to have their questions or concerns addressed,” a city press release states. “Any issues impacting adjacent properties arising from development activities are the responsibility of the developer.

The affected area is located in the neighbourhood below the mountainside south of Bella Vista Road, just down from The Rise. Frind Developments is keeping staff on site to help deal with the runoff issues, according to the city.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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