Stop the OCP changes

It’s difficult to comprehend what motivates city councillors to attempt to undermine the integrity of our Official Community Plan (OCP) only to create a few more square feet of commercial pace, when there already is plenty of empty spaces on both sides of us, like Summerland, Westbank and West Kelowna.

Should there ever be a real need for more commercial space, there are a lot of properties along Beach avenue that are suitable for commercial development without going above the three storey limit. If the city had prospective businesses knocking on the door with proposals that would translate into a number of full time well paying long term jobs, it would warrant some consideration. The notion that local businesses supply the city with desperately needed tax revenues is also a misnomer.

Tourism is not a sustainable business model, offering mostly part time employment, paying low wages during the summer season, leaving a lot of poor people unemployed during off season. That in turn translates into higher social costs for the city, that combined with discounted business taxes and development cost charges translates into even higher taxes for Peachland homeowners.

If Mike Kent is correct about Council being able to change the OCP, against massive opposition by the people, then our OCP has been sterilized and the political process at our city hall is no longer a by the people, for the people, to serve the-people democratic process that it should be. If we let City Council sterilize our OCP, all future development is out of control and the doors are wide open for our current and future city councils to develop Peachland willy nilly.

Combined with city council’s decision to use that fight it if you don’t like it alternative approval process to borrow almost indiscriminately, spending and taxation will also be out of control.

If we want to stop this train wreck, it means we all have to go to the open house Jan 30th, and tell city council we do not want to change the OCP, and that we do not want any buildings on Beach Avenue that are more than 3 storeys high.

Andy Thomsen

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