Central Okanagan  

Kelowna Mtn. and the community plan

The South Slope Official Community Plan is a reality.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan adopted the controversial OCP Thursday morning by a vote of 10-2.

City of Kelowna Director Andre Blanleil and Okanagan East Director Patty Hanson voted against the document.

Despite plenty of vocal opposition from residents of the South Slope above the Mission at a public hearing last month, the Regional District adopted the OCP as it was presented.

"The board felt they wanted to get the plan adopted and not leave it in limbo. If people want to come forward with proposals for changes to the OCP they can do that in the future," says board chair, Robert Hobson.

"I think there was a feeling they wanted to get it completed but there was also a recognition by a number of directors that there was a potential for some changes in the OCP, depending on planning and servicing."

Hobson says several directors talked specifically about property owned by the Catholic Church and the equally controversial Kelowna Mountain site.

"A number of directors mentioned Kelowna Mountain can now go ahead and do its neighbourhood plan and bring forward a rational, and a proposal for some form of development on their property," says Hobson.

"That process was laid out some months to them in a letter from the region which was developed by our staff and agreed to by the City of Kelowna and the Regional Board. They know what the steps are that are required."

Kelowna Mountain is not officially included in the South Slope OCP but rather, is mentioned as a 'Recreation Resort Study Area.'

Thursday's approval of the OCP means developers at Kelowna Mountain can now make a formal application to the district. 

An application for the proposed 680 acre development was submitted to the district prior to last month's public hearing, however, that application was deemed incomplete.

"Our staff was waiting for the outcome of today's board meeting and can now contact the applicant to discuss that application," says RDCO Communications Coordinator, Bruce Smith.

The Kelowna Mountain project, the brainchild of developer Mark Consiglio, would include a ski hill, golf course, winery and vineyard, suspension bridges, hotel, commercial amenities and a residential subdivision.

Total cost of the project is estimated at about $2B.

Hobson says several issues would need to be addressed by the developer including water, sewer and road access as well as various studies and reports required for any development application.

"All of that takes time," says Hobson.

"But, we're willing to work with the applicant to simplify the process, to make sure we are not having duplicate processes between the city, regional district and the province. We would be prepared to look at zoning application occurring at the same time as the neighbourhood plan."

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