Letter: What we have learned in Peachland

Peachland letter-writer expresses frustration with recent council decision

To the editor:

What we, Peachlanders, have learned from the possible illegal approval of the PeachTree Village:

1) When we elect councillors they believe it gives them the right to abandon the Official Community Plan, make decisions even if they may be illegal and approve a building even though an overwhelming amount of Peachlanders are against it.

2) That when the District of Peachland fails to abide by their mission statement of respect, transparency, fact-based decision making, community engagement, accountability and honesty, there is nothing residents can do about it.

3) Not to expect any consideration to be given to how a development may impact you. In the PeachTree’s case, the building is too big for its plot so they solved the problem by allowing what amounts to a 55 foot wall to be built on the neighbor’s property line. This is in addition to the surrounding neighbors having to suffer from loss of light, parking, the pleasant ambiance of their streetscape plus an increase in noise and traffic.

4) There is no point in writing in written submissions unless they support the council’s views as judging by the mayor and the majority of councillors, lack of acknowledgment, there is a possibility that they were not read. To highlight this, not only did the Mayor (and Councillor Thom) still insist the majority of Peachlanders approved the change to the OCP, despite the fact that over 75% of letters sent were in opposition and 88% in attendance at the public hearing were against, but the Mayor chose to read out written submissions sent in over 15 YEARS AGO with reference to the Gateway building. This is totally irrelevant as the building is over 1km away from the Peachtree, has no historic buildings nearby, is set back from the lakefront, with a wide two-lane road at the rear with plenty of room for parking, dustcarts, and delivery trucks. In fact, it has everything the Peachtree lacks. The Gateway also applied for 4 storey’s but after listening to residents input, reduced it to 3, so, all in all, it highlights the reasons why the Peachtree should NOT have been approved.

5) The public is not welcome at any council meetings but has to be tolerated due to protocol and we may ask questions when appropriate but should not expect an answer, even when followed up with an email.

6) That should a developer apply to build a high-density development next to you (and this zoning now applies to everywhere in Peachland) it will be approved whether you object or not as the developer rules. Even constructive letters highlighting its drawbacks from unbiased professionals such as Urban Planners, Doctors, ex-mayors, and ex-councilors will be ignored.

7) Do not rely on our planning department to supply full information when exercising due diligence before purchasing a property in Peachland. Past inquiries have proved that you will be informed of the zoning it currently is, but will fail to disclose either future zoning plans or whether an application has been submitted next door to the subject property to change the zoning.

8) Under the mayor’s biased ruling, residents at public hearings are limited to a three minute speech, must keep on the subject and no one should applaud. Developers, well anything goes, including a lifelong biography.

9) That we currently have a mayor and a developer in our midst that is so unprofessional and vindictive, that they will single out residents who do not share their views and vilify them by name in the Peachland View.

After living in Peachland for over 10 years we have found nearly all residents are exceptionally caring, sympathetic, honest, impartial, unbiased, fair-minded and sympathetic. It is a shame our mayor and most of our councillors do not share these attributes.

Ray Clive, Peachland

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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