When it comes to the public hearing on Monday, May 17, many residents around the Kampe Estate will have a singular voice.
Jim Moring delivered 132 letters from residents in Penticton, most around the property but some from beyond the immediate area,
The proposed development on the property would see the current mansion and carriage house replaced by two six-storey apartment buildings with 151 residential units, 191 vehicle parking spaces and additional bicycle parking.
Penticton’s city council gave first reading to the required amendments to the Official Community Plan and Zoning bylaws to allow such construction on May 4, and moved to the next step of a public hearing.
“I went around to the neighbours after the city council meeting granted first reading, especially the people who had voiced their concerns about the whole thing and they were oblivious to that fact,” said Moring. “They didn’t have that information, and they needed a common voice to unite their feelings on this.”
Moring collected emails from people who weren’t willing to speak themselves, but shared the concerns of others in the neighbourhood regarding the proposed development.
Those concerns include the potential impact on traffic, the protection of the Oxbow and the environment, the financial implications on nearby residences and the radical departure from the Official Community Plan and zoning for the area.
“We all bought in on the single-family concept and single-family zoning,” said Moring.
He also pointed to concerns about the impact on the development on School District 67, and Interior Health.
It’s the scale of the development that’s the largest issue with the proposal, at least for Moring. He said that if the developers had come forward with a project featuring townhouses instead would have had less objections.
“I think most of the people could tolerate a modest increase in density, but to expect people to live with such a huge, dramatic increase when they had confidence the OCP was there to protect to protect them… Two women, a woman and her daughter, bought in right next to Kampe’s property. These people bought in since the OCP came in and bought in confidence they were buying a single-family neighbourhood.”
“I want to hear from the neighbourhood, we all do, not just myself, but all of city council wants to hear how the neighbourhood feels about this development and the reasons why they feel the way they do,” said Vassilaki after receiving the letters. “If it’s not NIMBYism, then city council pays close attention to what the neighbourhood has to say.”
The city received 337 responses over the March 17 to March 19 public engagement period regarding the proposed OCP change, with over two-thirds either opposed or strongly opposed to the development.
By the time council meets on Tuesday, May 18, the plan is to have at least double the current number of letters and emails from residents submitted to
Moring hopes that more people will reach out to him or will show up for Monday’s public hearing to have their voice heard.
The public hearing will be held on Zoom, starting at 6:30 p.m. and streamed live on the city’s website. The link to participate, either by Zoom or phone, is available at penticton.ca/city-hall/city-council/council-meetings.
To report a typo, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.