Despite some concerns over losing tourism land, Lake Country council is sending proposed Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw changes that will allow a private marina and residential properties on an Oyama campground to a public hearing.
If approved, the site, located at Owl’s Nest Campground, would contain 50 net-zero residential units which would offer permanent and seasonal single-family and duplex housing, as well as a private marina on Kalamalka Lake. The site also borders the Okanagan Rail Trail.
Coun. Penny Gambell said she was not excited to lose tourist commercial land on the Okanagan Rail Trail, as the land is currently zoned for tourist commercial and agricultural.
“This is outside the identified area for the growth plan,” she said.
“If this were approaching council sort of to build on the tourist/commercial, I would be a lot more excited about it… this is a wonderful location and we do not want to be losing that type of zoning. We haven’t even opened the rail trail officially and what we’re talking about here is losing any opportunity for access for tourism commercial for another residential development. It may be seasonal, but it completely changes what we’re looking at there,” Gambell said.
Coun. Jeanette Lambert agreed.
“As much as we’re clearing up and cleaning up the old infrastructure around there… this is going to be another exclusive development and I would like this to remain a tourist area,” she said.
While Coun. Blair Ireland commended the development for its net-zero initiative, he was hesitant about supporting it, saying he would like to see what the public thought about the development in a public hearing.
He referenced Lakestone, which was originally intended to be part resort and part residential, he said.
“I just don’t see this as (being) a luxury community with a private marina,” Ireland said. “To try and set up a community that’s focused on a marina… to promote it like that, I’ve got some questions.”
Count. Bill Scarrow also said he would like to see the development be brought to a public hearing.
District staff recommended making the zoning and OCP changes and the motion was passed during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting.