Diamond View Not Appropriate For Development

To the editor:

I was surprised to see that Mr. Souter actually responded to my letter, “Development Spoils Dream”. He seemed very reluctant to respond to the dozens of calls from residents during the endless months of blasting that we endured. Unfortunately he seems to have completely missed the point or has chosen to ignore it. His letter trots out all of the usual excuses and misdirection that developer’s resort to.

For example, clear cutting every piece of vegetation becomes a fire prevention measure, when in reality it is just cheaper and easier for the developer. The token investment in landscaping and waterfalls will do nothing to replace the natural landscape (I don’t know what he means by spindle pine but this whole area was a typical Okanagan forest that was obliterated.)

Anyway, I don’t want to debate the aesthetics of the Diamond View development. It clearly speaks for itself as you round the corner coming up bridge hill. I don’t blame the developers for this, as their motivation is to make as much money as quickly as possible. With few exceptions they don’t care what it looks like as long as it will sell. They obviously don’t care how much inconvenience or disruption they cause to the surrounding neighbourhoods.

I do blame the planners and governments that allow this to happen. Mr. Souter speaks of blasting versus ugly retaining walls. I say neither! If blasting or retaining walls on this scale are required, then the land should not have been zoned for development, or it should have been scaled down to the point where the development fits the contour of the land. Instead, the developer chose to terrace the slope so they could maximize the number of lots, and hence the profit.

But the biggest disappointment was the lack of response from the Regional District (both staff and elected officials) to the many complaints they received. CORD was only interested in the revenue from additional taxes and development fees. Their standard response was that there were no regulations in place to control what the developer does. If this is true, they are either incompetent or they don’t want to have any regulations. Most of the people I talk to are not opposed to development, just bad development.

However, my original letter was not related solely to the Diamond View development, but dealt with a number of issues that have disrupted the residents of West Kelowna. These include several gravel pits with rocks crushers, as well as a permanent concert facility.

How can this happen in an area that is otherwise entirely residential?


Story# 12206 / 

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