Jerremy Kozub’s focus as the new Winfield councillor is on growth and affordable housing for students and the elderly.
While Kozub works in Kelowna, he’s spent the last 32 years in Winfield. He was acclaimed to his seat this election along with Coun. Blair Ireland, who represents Okanagan Centre.
The 41-year-old always had an interest in politics and has published letters in local newspapers. Kozub said he wishes more people were politically active in the community.
His goal is to entice developers to build smaller, more sustainable housing with tax incentives, he said, and would like to see major subdivisions have more than one access road.
Lake Country councillors make $18,930 annually starting in 2019.
What would you see like to happen with transportation?
I think what would help with a lot of congestion around Beaver Lake (is if it) had a second crossing through the Bennett property (near the Okanagan Rial Trail) so there would be a road around the backside of Duck Lake. Not just a small road but something that can sustain traffic, maybe even a four lane.
The City of Kelowna continues to develop that area (listing the new cannabis facility as an example) and its only going to get worse unless an alternative access is developed.
What are your thoughts on the proposed Jensen Road and Hill Road affordable housing projects?
That’s the road we need to take, but we need to watch the parking.
We need full parking, and whatever math formula that’s being used in the District of Lake Country is not working.
All these new developments are coming in and people are parking all over the streets and it’s only going to get worse.
Would you rather see people have parkades in the Town Centre?
I’d just (like to) ensure people have enough parking spaces for businesses. Developments should also not be allowed to have variances that create conjestion, (using the example of Turtle Bay Crossing and the proposed drive thru which council vetoed after concerns with Oceola Road traffic).
What do you think about the district’s current direction with development in the Town Centre?
We’re a bedroom industry and there are not many areas to put industry, so we have to look at this tourism commercial type development.
What are your thoughts on the new fire hall?
Originally, I was against it because how can we tell developers they can’t take land out of the ALR when we ourselves do it?
I thought it should be in the Town Centre until I read the Fire Underwriters Survey and you have to be within a certain vicinity of schools and homes, because if you move the fire hall too far away from homes, their insurance is going to go up.
The kangaroo farm is looking to move by 2020, what do you think the impact will have on tourism and what do you think will be a replacement to continue to draw people to Main Street?
I think there will be a transition where breweries will be moving in. People are so upset that Main Street hasn’t grown fast enough but I think it’s growing as it needs to.
It’s going to take time and it has to be done properly. I think we’re going to be kicking ourselves when the kangaroo farm leaves. The other thing is that we have parking lots there for the farm that will probably get developed into businesses as well.
What will you do to balance the rural quaint lifestyle that entices people to move to Lake Country with the development that’s ongoing in Winfield?
I find it funny when people up in The Lakes complain about development and I say ‘you do realize this is my old hunting ground?’ You did take that away from someone else.
To put it in perspective, there’s a need to develop, but we do have to ensure it’s not too congested. (It needs to be) open and leave room for park space.
What initiatives are you planning to start to deal with climate change in reference to the UN report that was released last week?
I’m a big environmentalist.
Just a lot of green initiatives. Net zero housing and me being a wastewater person that’s the world I live in. You can reuse your waste.
I would like to see the net zero steps sooner than later, but as soon as feasibly possible, and use tax incentives for developers to build net zero.
The one thing I noticed in Jasper is the fire control, each year they do cut blocks or controlled burns, (and) we need to do more of that.
In fall, there should be parts of Lake Country that are burning right now.
Light pollution bylaw, a dark sky policy where every light is shaded and every light points down, that’s the beautiful thing about Jasper, with the dark sky policy, you can go off into the mountains and if you even go into local parks you can see the stars.
I don’t know the feasibility of it.
Anything else we should know?
I’m a level four wastewater operation and I find it so crazy we clean our water to this pristine amount and put it in the ground.
We can make money with our waste, we could use it for silviculture projects.
Wastewater is used at Predator Ridge. There are all different classifications, there has to be some treatment to it.
You can’t take that water and put it on strawberries, but you can put it on hay and feed it to cows.
We will need to add a tertiary treatment and have the approval from the ministry. This will also need to have some sort of reservoir capacity.
If we can have water we can sell ito make money, we can have enterprise come in on capital costs so that they can get the water at a reduced fee.