A development proposed for the old Ponderosa golf course property easily cleared its biggest hurdle yet, despite strong objections voiced earlier.
Peachland council on Tuesday gave third reading to the Romspen Group’s plan to build a nine-hole golf course and 445-unit development on the southern portion of the property on Pincushion Mountain.
At a public hearing on Aug. 29, owners of property to the north complained about lack of consultation and the expectations that they would also build a golf course, so the area would again have a full 18-hole course.
“The public is being misled here,” said Norm Porter of Beech Westgard developers. “There will not be and there cannot be another nine holes built on that property. And we shouldn’t have the public have expectations that there will be another nine holes,” he said.
But on Tuesday, Peachland Mayor Patrick Van Minsel said the northern development group was wrong to claim there had been no consultation.
“The District of Peachland staff has had 12 consultations documented between August 2021 and May 23, 2023, with Beech Westgard, which is a far cry from the zero consultation claim by Norm Porter and the never-been-consulted statement made by Chuck Westgard at the public hearing,” said Van Minsel.
“The district has gone over and above in consultation efforts with Beech Westgard,” the mayor continued. “It seems the issue is not about the lack of consultation, but rather about Beech Westgard being dissatisfied with the outcome of the consultation, which is a different matter altogether.”
Van Minsel said Peachland was prepared to continue to negotiate with the northern group.
Councillors took turns praising the Romspen project and saying how eager the people of Peachland are to see it move ahead after a decade of false starts. Originally, a 2,100-unit development with golf course promoted by Greg Norman was promised.
“I think the phased development agreement is great the way it’s structured,” said Coun. David Collins. “I’m looking forward to getting that done and getting to fourth reading to advance this.”
Final reading will be granted after necessary legal documents are registered and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure gives its approval.
Coun. Rick Ingram, appearing by video, shut off his camera after declaring a conflict of interest.
Romspen, a large real-estate investment company, is proposing to build “The Pines at Ponderosa.”