West Kelowna  

Not much support for 70-lot subdivision proposed north of Fintry

New subdivision opposed

Interior Health, BC Parks and staff with the Regional District of Central Okanagan have come out in opposition to a new subdivision proposed around the Valley of the Sun development north of Fintry Provincial Park.

AviSina Developments is proposing a 70-lot subdivision adjacent to the Valley of the Sun community that would include 24 hectares of parkland and associated road networks. Each lot would have the potential of an additional dwelling unit.

“The applicants suggest potential benefits which include; a possible egress route for the Valley of the Sun south through Fintry Provincial Park, a possible school site dedication, greater utilization of the existing community water source, and a housing solution to help alleviate some of the supply pressures that are negatively impacting affordability in the region,” says a report going before the board next week.

Those benefits, however, are outweighed by the negatives, according to RDCO staff that have recommended the board reject the proposal.

The plan has “poor alignment” with the regional growth strategy and the official community plan, which urges the use of vacant land inventory before considering new subdivisions.

The residential lots are proposed to be 0.6 hectares, which falls short of the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s “one-hectare policy” that recommends lots that are not serviced by community sewer systems be no smaller than one hectare. Failing to follow that policy could impact the ability to obtain future grants.

The proposal suggests each lot would be serviced by on-site wastewater disposal, or septic systems.

Interior Health flagged concerns with wastewater disposal along with development sprawl, wildfire interface issues and climate impacts of vehicle travel to and from the remote neighbourhood as reasons for opposing the subdivision.

BC Parks, meanwhile, raised concerns with the “potential environmental impacts from the proposed subdivision development adjacent to Fintry Provincial Park and Fintry Protected Area.”

BC Parks says it does not support an emergency exit through the park and said the development would impact the habitats of the great basin gopher snake and bighorn sheep. The new residents would also put additional pressure on the park.

The RDCO board will discuss the application to amend the future land use designation and the zoning of the two properties in question on Thursday.

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