A massive residential and hotel development planned for Blackmun Bay in West Kelowna has officially been rejected by the City of West Kelowna.
Mayor Gord Milsom and five councillors voted against the revised proposal during a council meeting on Tuesday, stating the project was not appropriate for the site.
Proposed by Landstar Development Corporation, the developer tried to scale back its plans after residents voiced their oposition to the project during a public hearing in October; however it still wasn’t enough for council to support it.
According to the revised plans, the developer proposed reducing the height of four buildings by a single storey to eight storeys and halve the amount units from 700 to 350.
During the meeting, Coun. Rick de Jong was the first to voice his opposition to the project planned along Campbell Road.
“I hope the developer will regroup and come back with something that is more appropriate at the site,” said de Jong.
“I don’t view 350 units at eight stories as something that is appropriate.”
Coun. Doug Findlater said he had always supported the development of the property, but said his view of it changed like many others over time.
“For a cash-strapped municipality ten years (into our existence), it originally was an attractive opportunity so I supported it.”
“However, after public consultation that I viewed as more as a marketing opportunity than real consultation, I realized there wasn’t a whole lot of support for the project.”
After the decision was made, West Kelowna resident Shirley Simson said she was happy with the outcome.
“I’m extremely proud of the people in our area who raised so many issues in relation to the development. I’m also happy that our city council listened.”
“This project would’ve had dreadful impacts on the community, including it’s impacting on the the William R. Bennett Bridge and the road towards West Kelowna.”
Nancy Young, another resident of West Kelowna, said the decision was ultimately a win for the community.
“I live up on Ridgeview Road, and this project would’ve just been a disaster for everybody in Casa Loma who would’ve had to deal with the buildings and huge complex for years to come.”
Despite the overwhelming support from community members to reject the project, Robert Moskovitz, vice president of development and operations for Landstar Communities, said they will likely try again with another plan.
“This is obviously not the outcome we were hoping for. I need to take the information that was provided, talk it over with my colleagues, an re-strategize given these latest developments.”
“Based on that, we will decide what the next steps are. We will be back and we’re not going anywhere.”