Hillside development gets support

A large, ambitious hillside housing development on the east side of Dilworth Mountain is heading to public hearing.

The 343 unit residential development covers nearly 46 hectares off Mount Baldy Drive next to a current Dilworth Homes development.

The development, while within the city's Urban Growth Boundary, it is not part of the Official Community Plan or the Long Term Growth Plan.

Urban Planning Manager, Ryan Smith, says the development has reached this stage sooner than was anticipated.

"Staff have to be open minded enough to look at the bigger picture and look at what other impacts and benefits might be out there for supporting this type of development," says Smith.

Some of those benefits include a large land dedication (18.27 hectares) which includes the future Central Okanagan Multi-Modal Corridor connection as well as the Mill Creek area.

That land would be turned over to the city in exchange for additional density within the development.

"The majority of the development would be a strata style development," says Smith.

"There would be several building types and 17 units of purpose-built rental housing."

Smith conceded the development is a complex one, a sentiment echoed by Councillor Robert Hobson.

Hobson pointed to both visual impact and access as key concerns leading up to the public hearing.

"I have in the past expressed some concern about our hillside developments," says Hobson.

"You look at some of the things that are happening in the Rutland area and the Black Mountain area where you see hills literally contoured into terraces by taking out massive amounts of material. I'm hoping we won't see that type of impact here."

While he is excited about many aspects of the proposed development, Hobson warns the city has one chance to get it right.

"This is a very visible area because of the traffic on Highway 97," says Hobson

"We better do it right or we will be looking at it for a long time and scratching our heads."

The development will be part of a future public hearing.



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