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West Kelowna’s SolAqua Townhomes project still drawing density concerns from area residents

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna’s ‘SolAqua Townhomes’ project still drawing density concerns from area residents' West Kelowna’s ‘SolAqua Townhomes’ project still drawing density concerns from area residents
WATCH: The proposed SolAqua Townhomes project in West Kelowna raises density concerns among area residents – Jan 4, 2022

Scott Rowland says he’s lived in West Kelowna’s Casa Loma neighbourhood for decades.

But Rowland says he can’t accept the area’s latest development proposal.

“We’ve accepted change, we’ve accepted new development,” Rowland told Global News.

“If this was a tasteful development, I’d be all in favour of it.”

READ MORE: Controversy over West Kelowna’s proposed Blackmun Bay development

Rowland says the proposed SolAqua Townhomes project leaves a bad taste in his mouth.

“The problem is the density is too high for the community,” said Rowland.

The plan for the SolAqua site is 45 to 60 townhomes nestled in a steep hillside, along the east edge of Campbell Road facing Okanagan Lake.

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Click to play video: '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
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 – Oct 23, 2019

It’s a far cry from the ill-fated Blackmun Bay project, a controversial 550 condo and townhouse unit project with a hotel that Landstar Development Corporation of Calgary was forced to scrap in 2019.

“We have listened to members of administration, members of council and members of the public, in order to make the changes we were told they would like to see,” said Landstar Development vice-president Robert Moskovitz.

Read more: Plans to turn Okanagan Lake’s last private campground into a resort take shape

According to Moskovitz, the new scaled-down SolAqua housing proposal is a direct result of that consultation.

“This is something that, we believe, much better fits within West Kelowna,” Moskovitz told Global News.

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“There are numerous other developments in West Kelowna, and, in fact, in and around the Okanagan, that would be very similar.”

Still,  an informal survey of area residents by the Casa Loma community association says opposition still exists.

“We polled just under 300 residents and got a 67 per cent response rate,” said Casa Loma Community Association president Ryan Holt.

Click to play video: 'A major development proposal for West Kelowna won’t proceed until public consulted' A major development proposal for West Kelowna won’t proceed until public consulted
A major development proposal for West Kelowna won’t proceed until public consulted – Jan 10, 2019

In the recent survey, Holt says three-quarters of those who responded were against the SolAqua townhomes development.

“I think there are still some concerns with the fact that Casa Loma is a one-road-in, one-road-out community,” said Holt, adding the community feels it’s being inundated by development.

“Directly to the north, in Shelter Bay, there are 108 townhomes being built at the moment,” said Holt. “There are plans for apartment buildings in there as well, so that compounds things.”

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Holt says he’ll bring the community association’s concerns to West Kelowna city council when a public hearing for a zoning bylaw change that would allow for a development permit application is scheduled.

Read more: ‘I was hoping that there will be more empathy’: Kelowna accessible housing proposal opposed

 

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