Canadian Horizons has proposed to build 300 - plus homes on Spiller Road. This letter writer thinks this is a much needed development for Penticton. (Canadian Horizons photo)

Letter: Canadian Horizons’ housing is needed for Penticton to grow

Letter writer says there have been very few housing projects to meet demand

Editor

Over the past 3-4 decades there have been a few developments that have come to fruition in our little area. (Heritage Hills, Redwing Resort, upper Pineview area, Skaha Hills, Sendero Canyon).

Do the people living in these areas feel as though they have scarred the lands and destroyed ecosystems and are in fear of losing our farmland because they now have a place to live? Probably not. They are more than likely appreciative that they have a beautiful area to live in and that they can be close to nature.

This [Canadian Horizons] development will be no different.

Traffic has increased in this area because of building with new wineries and vineyards in the New Naramata Bench area.

In the past, the main use of Reservoir Rd. was access to a few residences and logging areas. Since the dump was established there, the traffic volume has increased substantially. The biggest slowdown on Naramata Rd. currently is garbage day or when a logging truck has to navigate this route towards town.

The proposed area is not wine country. It is not a vineyard. It is not “Naramata” as some petitioners seem to think. Not in the ALR, never has been. I am sure most of the people against this project have never been on the site as it is mostly private property currently and unseen by the masses of Pentictonites, or even the Naramata Benchers, and worldly travellers that are so set against this development.

This is a beautiful area and I could see a development being next on that hillside for Penticton’s expansion plans, far nicer than Sendero or Shaka Hills as neighbourhood development with plans for six km of trails, +59 acres of lands preserved as habitat, buffer and park. Plus, new routes for fire safety and emergency access. Also providing extra services to those already in the area.

This area could be a big step in linking the Campbell Mtn. Park area to the Riddle Rd. (Three Blind Mice) recreation area for hiking and biking opportunities. The type of housing proposed is focused on young families, or professionals looking for new housing opportunities that is currently not available or only available in very limited stock. People need new places to live if our town is to succeed and grow.

This developer has been made to jump through hoops by our city councils requests and dealing with the expansion of the buffer zone around the dump which caused them to loose 40 per cent of their investment property to this mandated buffer zone. The property was brought into the city boundary with plans to develop some 40 years ago. 15 years ago it was sold to Canadian Horizons. Building in this area is not a new idea.

Throughout history we have always relied on the ones with the money to bring about development, The Robinson family in Naramata probably to name a few. Landowners with more than the average share of property have aided development of all our towns and communities by offering or selling land for development. We need firms like Canadian Horizons to assist our city to grow. If we thwart their efforts we will stagnate.

Yes there will aways be the Naramata Bench wineries. But who can afford to live on one of those?

We all need to work together and understand that change is inevitable. Whether it be from our fruit growing past to our vineyard future. Let’s not get started on food security.

Building homes so that people can come here to experience our beautiful valley with the rest of us is one step in the process.

David Szabo

Born and raised in Penticton

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