Swan Lake development drives debate

There are some concerns about how the northern gateway to Vernon is developing.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board has given third reading to rezoning so a self-storage facility can be built in the Swan Lake corridor, but there is some opposition.

“It’s a very poor use of land,” said director Mike Macnabb.

The easterly portion of the property fronting on Pleasant Valley Road is currently zoned service commercial. If the rezoning is successful, the applicant is proposing a 107-unit self-storage in four buildings.

“I understanding the zoning (that exists) but this is some of the best farm land in the area,” said Macnabb. “I understand the need for commercial and a tax base but this is not a good use of land.”

Macnabb questions whether self-storage units provide any direct benefit for locals as they often cater to tourists or seasonal residents.

“We’re just a depository for toys,” he said of recreational vehicles and boats.

Macnabb believes there needs to be a discussion about the long-term development of the Swan Lake corridor.

“We have a beautiful lake and right across the highway is a blight on the landscape,” he said.

The elected representative for Swan Lake isn’t thrilled about self-storages either but admits there is little RDNO can do to prevent the proposal

“It’s an allowable use under the (official community plan) designation,” said director Bob Fleming.

“They comply with everything so our hands are somewhat tied.”

Final approval for the rezoning application is still required.


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