Peachland wants developer to scale back Renfrew Road project

Council seeks less density

Peachland will try to convince a developer to reduce the size of a subdivision planned for a narrow, rural road.

A 72-unit subdivision is proposed for two properties covering 18.1 acres on Renfrew Road, near Hardy Falls.

Peachland councillors on Tuesday praised the variety of housing and the developer’s willingness to meet conditions requested by council, which included a late $100,000 contribution for improvements to local roads.

But concerns expressed by residents at a recent public hearing about increased traffic were too strong to ignore.

Mayor Patrick Van Minsel suggested council could call for the development to be reduced to 60 units.

Councillors generally liked his idea, but the mayor was advised the municipality will need to talk to the developer.

“There’s a way that we can work this out,” Van Minsel said, after council voted to delay third reading.

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

“The developer did address quite a few of the items brought up by people,” said Coun. Rick Ingram.

Coun. Keith Thom said he supported the proposal as a way to get the improvements council wants to Renfrew Road and the intersection with Highway 97.

“I’ve long held the opinion that MOTI highway improvements will never come unless we have development, so it’s nice to see development coming.”

Thom also praised the variety of housing in the project.

“One of the reasons I embrace this particular development is the diversity of housing options that will serve the needs of a wide range of people,” he said. “Not just people with a million and half to spend on a nice home, but people who want to start in a town home or perhaps even in a rental unit.”

The project is to include 32 townhomes, “six orchard cottage homes, 13 neighbourhood hillside homes, 17 executive hillside homes” and “four executive lakeview homes,” according to an earlier presentation.

But Coun. David Collins said a stronger commitment to improve Renfrew Road was needed.

“I don’t think it’s incumbent on us as a council to go forward and approve it without a commitment to improve Renfrew Road.”

Collins also wanted less density and maybe a more traditional subdivision.

“I would prefer to see a little less density, especially when it comes to the townhomes. I’d prefer to just have single-family homes in keeping with the neighbourhood,” he said.

“I do love what the developer’s coming to the table with,” said Coun. Alena Glasman, but she agreed the density was too much.

Residents in the neighbourhood held a protest march against the proposed development earlier this month, where many voiced opposition to multi-family units.

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