Kelowna council can't get out of its own way while discussing Kelowna Springs motion

Procedure escapes council

It seems some members of Kelowna city council may need to take a refresher course when it comes to council procedures.

Council put the cart before the proverbial horse while it discussed what should have been a simple request from Coun. Luke Stack to once again look at the future land use designation of Kelowna Springs Golf Course.

Stack introduced a draft resolution asking staff to bring forward a bylaw for council consideration that would amend the future land use of the golf course from industrial to private recreation in the 2040 Official Community Plan.

The motion, which eventually passed, means the proposed bylaw change would be brought forward at a future council meeting, likely next Monday, for first reading consideration.

Instead of discussing the request, council got bogged down on when to hold a potential public hearing. That debate took place before a vote to hold a potential future vote to trigger a public hearing.

"If we move this to a public hearing, is it possible to delay the public hearing to a time where the applicant...because he has some ideas that he has discussed with some of us...has an opportunity to research and present his ideas?" asked Coun. Mohini Singh.

"That way we can hear from the applicant and the public, and we can make an educated decision then."

City clerk Stephen Fleming suggested council can determine when an item comes up to a public hearing, but reminded council if it voted in favour of the resolution today, the next step would be to bring forward a report to a Monday afternoon meeting along with a bylaw for council to send to a public hearing.

"I support, I'm going to call it a friendly amendment proposal by my colleague to my right. I would even suspect a date of July 11, 2023, gives both the public and the owner a little bit of certainty of a date as opposed to coming at the next earliest," added Coun. Gord Lovegrove.

Another suggestion from Coun. Ron Cannan, who asked that the resolution be deferred, suggested waiting six months for public hearing in order to allow the new owner of the property to open up a dialogue with members of Kelowna Springs.

Stack addressed the discussion around the timing of a public hearing saying regardless of it, or when it takes place saying the owner of the property always has a right to speak at as do members of the public.

But, he said he was uncomfortable waiting and leaving the designation of the property in the OCP as industrial.

"That means essentially anything they bring forward is consistent with the direction we are going. We are saying we are happy leaving this an industrial designation. I'm not," said Stack.

"I think it shouldn't have that designation. I think if it's going to change, the land owner needs to make a presentation to council with a rezoning request saying this is why I want to change it to industrial and this is the plan I have to show how we are going to do it."

The actual report for council with the proposed OCP designation change is expected to come back to council for debate and possible first reading next Monday.

If it passes, a date for a public hearing would then be set.

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