'It’s been a rocky road': Peachland council approves seniors housing development

Seniors housing approved

A 73-unit seniors complex proposed for Peachland passed its biggest hurdle.

Peachland council on Tuesday gave third reading to zoning amendments that will allow the Peachland Seniors Support Society and BC Housing to proceed with construction.

The building on 5th Street will be built behind nearly identical seniors building that opened in 2019.

Disputes over parking, development cost charges and whether Peachland applicants will get priority almost derailed the project. Parking was the last issue to be resolved. BC Housing had earlier told the municipality the project wasn’t feasible if on-site parking was required.

The building owners will lease some public parking spots and develop new parking spaces on an upgraded 5th Street. The home will have 14 spaces on site and agrees not to use the community centre parking lot.

“I’m happy that we made it to this point,” said Coun. David Collins. “It’s been a long journey to get here.”

Coun. Alena Glasman said the difficult negotiations paid off for Peachland. “I am very happy that we have done our due diligence to do what is in the best interest of Peachland.”

“We were a long way away from here a few months ago, and we’re in a very good place for everybody in Peachland right now,” added Coun. Rick Ingram.

“It’s been a rocky road,” said Mayor Patrick Van Minsel. “It took us a few more months than we thought it was going to be, but we got there. It’s a win-win-win for everyone, for BC Housing, for seniors, for council, for taxpayers.”

Coun. Randey Brophy had recused himself from a public hearing on July 10 after signing a petition in favour of the complex, but said at the start of Tuesday’s meeting he had legal advice saying he could sit in and vote on the project. As councillors went around the table praising the project, Brophey read a prepared statement and choked up during a portion that praised Peachland’s seniors for their contributions to the community.

Final reading will be granted when some conditions council attached to the project are met, but generally third reading means a project can now proceed.

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