Kettle Valley 1, developer 0

Residents in Kettle Valley have won the first round in its battle to stop a development in their neighbourhood.

City council voted 6-2 against the proposed 84-home subdivision on Quilchena Drive, land once set aside for a school.

The property has been used as parkland and a soccer field, and neighbours want it to stay that way.

Staff argued the area already has more park space than any other neighbourhood in the city, a point made by Mayor Colin Basran, one of two on council who supported the development.

"I think this application does strike a balance between park space and filling in the neighbourhood," said Basran.

"I would ask now that the developers work with the community and planning staff to come up with a plan the neighbourhood can hopefully buy into. I also agree with my council colleagues that there will be development on the site, but perhaps now it is going to have to be scaled back."

Tuesday's public hearing lasted more than three hours as more than a dozen people from the neighbourhood spoke against the project.

Many of those suggested the plan had always been for the property to be a school or parkland, while others believed services in the area, specifically traffic, would be adversely affected by the new development.

Brad Sieben was one of the councillors who voted down the development.

"From my perspective, I thought the plan should go back to the applicant to rework. I went over a lot of the agreements between the school district and developer ," Sieben said. "It talked about a threshold of 57 units. I thought it should stick closer to what the vision of a school site should be."

Sieben says he could support a modified development that kept some of the green space intact.

A Kettle Valley group opposed to the development stated on their website, "This requires the developer to re-engage with the community to revise and resubmit their plan. More than ever, it is vital that our input is provided to the process in a constructive fashion."

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