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Year in Review: Penticton’s controversial developments

Council recently approved turning the Bogner’s restaurant into a three-storey office building
Signs like this one opposing Canadian Horizons development proposal of 1050 Spiller Road appear all along Naramata Bench. (Submitted)

It was a year with plenty of new projects for the City of Penticton, and not all of them were met with great approval by citizens.

After striking out in 2021, Canadian Horizons returned in 2022 to pitch a smaller development for the Naramata bench on Spiller Road.

Even with a proposal that was less than half the size of their original plans, with 111 homes instead of over 300, the residents of the bench once again were united in their opposition to the project. Both projects were looking at needing council approval to rezone the land and update the Official Community Plan.

The second attempt didn’t even fully make it to council, with the city’s public engagement process gathering overwhelming feedback that showed majority opposition to the presented project.

Instead, the developer pulled the plug with plans to move forward with developing the land as much as they can with the existing zoning, which would allow for a mix of country residential and mobile home park properties.

A development on Penticton’s Lakeshore Drive raised enough ire among a portion of the populace that they formed an organization to file a lawsuit against the city.

The Penticton Society for Transparent Governance and Responsible Development filed a civil petition in Supreme Court over the 4-3 decision by council to approve the development of an eight-unit residential complex. The group felt that the property was too small for the proposed size of the building.

The court recently heard the case and dismissed the claim, upholding the city and council’s powers to grant variances for developments.

The former Kampe estate on Green Avenue was one project that had its share of past controversy but found clearer sailing in 2022.

After a proposal for two apartment buildings was rejected in 2021, the property went back on the market before a new developer brought forward a more palatable offer for residents in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

The new 84-unit project will instead be a mix of 44 two-bedroom units and 40 three-bedroom units split across 10 buildings.

Construction on the project hadn’t started before winter hit.

The end of the year had one last project that caused concern among some members of the public.

Council gave their approval to turn the historical Bogner’s of Penticton restaurant building into a three-storey office building.

Comments from the public expressed their disappointment that Bogner’s, despite not being on the heritage registry, was being torn down, with some in particular questioning the appropriateness of an office building in an otherwise residential area.

READ MORE: Council motions pass for more Penticton firefighters, city-supported housing

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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