The year 2016 is shaping up to be the biggest construction year in Lake Country’s 20 year history as a district municipality.
In the first 11 months of 2016 all previous records have been surpassed with a 2016 year-to-date construction value of $91.7 million. On average since incorporation, there have been 76 single family residences built each year, but in 2016 there were 142 alone, plus 47 new secondary suites.
“Lake Country was one of the first municipalities in the Okanagan valley a few years ago to approve registered secondary suite development zones to support a diversity of housing needs in the community,” said Mark Koch, director of community services. “Council is very interested in making sure the housing in Lake Country is accessible to a wider range of people at all stages of their life.”
Like most communities in North America, Lake Country is facing the realities of aging infrastructure, with pipes and roads reaching the end of their useful life. However, Lake Country says it is working towards a systematic renewal of these community building blocks. The growth in the tax base allows the municipality to continue to invest in amenities and infrastructure improvements while protecting the environment and maintaining the agricultural heritage without adding a significant tax burden to the citizens that make up the foundation of the community.
“Looking back on the year, we saw some significant projects completed,” said Mayor James Baker. “The Safe Routes to School component of the Transportation for Tomorrow Plan included road improvements on Bottom Wood Lake Rd., Woodsdale Rd., Sherman Rd., and Greenhow Rd. with bike lanes and pedestrian pathways included. A deteriorating section of Carr’s Landing Rd was redone; the Seymour Sewer lift station was upgraded, and universal water meters were installed throughout the community to help better manage our resources.
“We also adopted a new Development Cost Charge bylaw to collect funds from land developers to ensure development pays its fair share of roads, drainage, water and sewer services for the projected population growth.”
Lake Country residents can participate more in the long range vision during 2017 through the Parks and Recreation Master Plan as well as an Official Community Plan update.