A proposed 320-plus home development in the Naramata Bench area could provide more local housing in the Penticton area, however not everyone is excited about the idea.
The development company behind the proposed subdivision, Canadian Horizons, recently held an online public consultation period. The full results of the consultation have yet to be released.
Some residents have already publicly voiced their distaste. An online petition has garnered about 1,600 signatures against the project as of Tuesday (June 30) afternoon.
The residential development of over 300 homes is proposed for a 163-acre piece of land located at 1050 Spiller Rd., ten minutes from downtown Penticton and immediately north of the Campbell Mountain Landfill.
In April 2019, Canadian Horizons submitted a rezoning proposal for approximately 350 residential units ranging from large single-family lots to town-homes. More recently, the developer stated on its website the subdivision would consist of 324 homes.
There is also proposed business, park and agricultural land use designated in the rezoning proposal.
“This latest master-planned community boasts significant land preservation that includes parks and trails for the whole community to enjoy,” reads the company’s description of the development.
Contrarily, some residents have cited land preservation as one of their main concerns of the development.
Increased traffic and vehicle congestion is also a common concern.
Penticton’s director of development services, Blake Laven says that the area has been earmarked for residential development by the city’s Official Community Plan since 2005.
Canadian Horizons has owned the land since 2006. The company has done “comprehensive planning” on the land and surrounding area since they took ownership, said Laven.
The Vancouver-based development company already has ties to Penticton, as it developed the city’s Sendero Canyon housing development that was completed in 2018.
While the land has already been designated for residential development by the Official Community Plan, there is currently no zoning in place.
Canadian Horizons is currently trying to establish zoning for the development. The zoning application will likely be presented before Penticton council in August or September.
Laven said the city has received “several pieces” of feedback from the community regarding the development in recent weeks.
“Traffic is a big question that people bring up, the environment, rural character, drainage… there’s a lot of things that people bring up,” said Laven.
Canadian Horizons say they hope to complete rezoning in 2020 with construction starting “on the first of many phases” in early 2021.
The Penticton Western News has reached to Canadian Horizons for comment.