Traffic concerns loom as Peachland council gives preliminary approval to subdivision

Subdivision sent to hearing

A 72-unit subdivision proposed on two properties in the Hardy Falls area received preliminary approval Tuesday from Peachland council, but isn’t in the clear yet.

The subdivision is planned for two properties covering 18.1 acres on Renfrew Road.

Additional traffic, access to the site, a substandard road and a problem intersection at Highway 97 sparked concerns among councillors, who have already received a lot of comments about the proposal from area residents.

“It’s a gorgeous site,” said Coun. Randey Brophy. “However, we have also heard many, many concerns from citizens about the transportation access and egress to and from the site.”

Brophy said residents are concerned about the cumulative effect of developments in the area.

“Your development may not in and of itself affect traffic that bad. However, in aggregate, there are a number of different developments in the area that will affect traffic.

“All of this has to be addressed before we move forward,” he said.

The developer commissioned a report said the increase in traffic would be negligible, though councillors weren’t convinced.

“The applicant’s transportation engineer concluded that this slight increase in traffic will have negligible to no impact on the existing operations at the Hardy Road intersection and will not add to any previously identified safety concerns,” a report to council said.

The development will include 32 townhomes, “six orchard cottage homes, 13 neighbourhood hillside homes, 17 executive hillside homes” and “four executive lakeview homes,” according to a presentation to council

The applicant has agreed to build 10% of the 32 proposed multi-family (townhome) units as flex units, the report to council said. Flex units are essentially self-contained secondary suites with their own entrances.

“The development itself is suited for the proposed area,” said Mayor Patrick Van Minsel. “We need to hedge out some details that we’re not happy with, and we will do that.”

Councillors agreed to send the application to a public hearing. A date hasn’t been set yet.

Also in the Hardy Falls area, an eight-unit subdivision on two acres on Thorne Road received near-final approval. Final approval will come when the developer meets certain conditions.

The development will consist of eight single-family dwellings.

Council heard the developer will pay to bring a sewer line to the area, will pave a portion of Thorne Road and pay for water main improvements. Speed sign boards for the nearby Highway 97 will also be offered to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“The developer has basically done everything asked of him. He’s providing less lots than he could have provided on the site. He’s widened Thorne Road. He’s extended both the sewer and the pavement with contributions from the town beyond his site. And he’s providing signage to warn about the speed limit that he’s donating for Highway 97. To my mind, he’s done everything asked of him,” said Brophy.

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