Credit: Contributed

Peachland council amends OCP for controversial development

At Tuesday night's council meeting, a bylaw was adopted to allow PeachTree Village to continue

A controversial five-storey development project will continue near Peachland’s waterfront.

Peachland council adopted a bylaw Tuesday night, which amend the district’s Official Community Plan to allow for a building height of up to five storeys at the northwest corner of Beach Avenue and Fourth Street, but “encourages a maximum building height of three storeys between Beach Avenue and Town Lane (Waldo Way).”

A third reading was also given to a bylaw to change the location of the project from single detached residential to multi-unit residential. The bylaw will be brought to council for final adoption Feb. 27.

PeachTree Village, a proposed mixed-use development for 5760-5766 Beach Avenue, offers 10 homes and 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Mayor Cindy Fortin addressed a nearly full audience during the meeting.

“In the end, it comes down to a council decision,” she said. “As a citizen for those three and a half decades, I have seen no development in the downtown core.”

“We must continue to evolve.”

At previous council meetings, numerous residents voiced their opposition to the proposed OCP changes.

In November, residents of the newly formed Friends of Beach Avenue Association filed a petition to the Supreme Court of B.C. saying the zoning for the development is in contradiction with the OCP.

Coun. Terry Condon and Coun. Mario Vucinovic were the only ones opposed to the bylaws.

Condon said the district is providing a disservice to the community by changing the downtown core and the vision of the town previously reinforced in the OCP.

Vucinovic said he didn’t believe the development suits the community

“I’ve struggled with this, I’ve deliberated… The development is a good thing, it’s going to bring in jobs, but it is the right fit?” he asked.

“I don’t believe it’s the right fit.”

Coun. Mike Kent said the proposed building suits the typography of the land and that looking at that council should look at the height of the proposed property, which is not that much taller than The Gateway building on Beach Avenue.

“It is nine feet taller than The Gateway building,” he said.

Coun. Pam Cunningham said the district has to be flexible in order to get new development in the area.

“It’s not a straight up monster type of building,” she said.