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Penticton  

Public hearing on resort

A long-discussed residential development at the Twin Lakes golf course will soon face public scrutiny at an open hearing, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen decided Thursday. 

Board members voted that Phase 1 of the project, up to 46 homes on the southeast side of the golf course, be put forward for public discussion on an as-yet-to-be determined date. The full project would see up to 232 residential units and tourism facilities over 25 years. 

The main concern in the area is the availability of water, and ensuring the resort's system is implemented and regulated properly before being turned over to the RDOS. 

The project passed a first reading in 2018, but has been in the works in various forms for over two decades. 

Subrina Monteith, director of Area I, which encompasses Twin Lakes, said she has been inundated with correspondence from her constituents about the proposed development. 

"I've received over 30 phone calls in support of the development, as well as we've received letters of non-support via email," Monteith said. "I know that residents that have contacted me are afraid to publicly connect to being in support of the development."

She said that the community is divided, with people on both sides afraid to make their position known. 

"Professionals and staff have been working on this for years, and I believe it's time that we trust the professionals," Monteith said, then moving to support a public hearing on the issue. 

Before there could be a vote, however, a member of the public in the gallery stood and interrupted. 

"I would like to say there has been a conflict of interest here," the woman shouted. "I urge all the directors to read through all the reports that have been done."

Board chair Karla Kozakevich swiftly interrupted and told the woman this was not a public forum. 

"We have all the documents thank you, they have gone through all the documents," Kozakevich said. "You would make that statement at a public hearing, which is what we're trying to kick out to the public right now."

The motion to send the project to public hearing was passed, and RDOS staff will now coordinate with Area I director Monteith to set a date for the forum. 

That may take a while, though, because RDOS staff say they now have a lot of back-and-forth with the developer to do to iron out details of the proposal.

Even if the development makes it past approval from the board at a later date, the province still has the power to step in and decline it if they find the water system would not be able to handle the project. 



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