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Controversial West Kelowna development shot down

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. Courtesy: Landstar Development Corp.

The developer of a controversial project in West Kelowna has been sent back to the drawing board.

Council voted six to one against the Blackmun Bay project, which was proposed for the Casa Loma neighbourhood.

The project initially proposed up to 740 units in three 14-storey buildings and a tall hotel. It was then reduced to four nine-storey buildings with up to 700 units ahead of a public hearing.

READ MORE: Standing room only at public hearing for controversial West Kelowna development proposal

However, following the hearing where the project still received widespread criticism from local residents, Landstar Development Corporation reduced its proposed buildings up to eight storeys with up to 350 units.

Some of residents’ main criticisms about the project were that it was too big and that it would create traffic congestion in the neighbourhood.

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On the other hand, the Landstar Development Corporation argued that it would offer more housing options for residents and increase the city’s tax base.

READ MORE: More public consultation needed before West Kelowna development can move forward

Dozens of local residents who turned up to Tuesday’s meeting expressed relief after council voted against the project.

“I’m very grateful. I think it was a wise decision,” resident Heather Larratt said.

“We’re not against development, but something that dense that close to the lake, the risks are just unacceptable.”

READ MORE: Open houses for proposed West Kelowna development

Landstar Development spokesperson Robert Moskovitz said council’s decision wasn’t the outcome he was hoping for, but he still hopes to be back before council in the future with a new plan.

“We need to take the information that was provided, and I need to sit with my colleagues and team,” Moskovitz said.

“We need to re-strategize given these developments and based on that we will decide what the next steps are.”

West Kelowna city council was forced to find a bigger venue for Wednesday night’s public hearing on a controversial development slated for the city’s Casa Loma area
West Kelowna city council was forced to find a bigger venue for Wednesday night’s public hearing on a controversial development slated for the city’s Casa Loma area