Opposition doesn’t stop project

Vernon council approved a rezoning bylaw for 29 acres between Kalamalka Lake Road and Middleton Way.

A major development has been given the green light despite extensive concerns from residents.

Vernon council voted 3-1 Monday to a rezoning bylaw for 29 acres between Kalamalka Lake Road and Middleton Way. The plan is for upwards of 129 single-family, townhouse and apartment units.

“A lot of the issues people asked about we’ve addressed and there are some things we don’t have control over such as blasting,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

“It’s private property and people are allowed to develop. They are meeting all of our requirements.”

EMA Consulting has proposed 40 to 50 apartments for 10.6 acres along Kalamalka Lake Road, across from Browne Road.

It is also proposed Mt. Griffin Road will be extended westward to allow for 29 single-family lots on 10.8 acres while Mt. Burnham Road could be extended westward to accommodate 40 to 50 townhouses on 5.5 acres.

Lone opposition came from Coun. Bob Spiers (Mayor Akbal Mund and Councillors Juliette Cunningham and Brian Quiring were absent).

“I felt we need a lot more clarity. There are a lot of questions about why it should go ahead in that format,” said Spiers.

“I felt uncomfortable with the whole thing.”

A large crowd attended a public hearing Monday.

“We will be subjected to construction traffic, noise, dust and debris for the foreseeable future,” said Dennis Windsor, a Mt. Griffin Road resident.

Because of bedrock in the area, Windsor says the developer will have to rely on blasting.

“We’re concerned our house will be shaken.”

Mike Martin, on Middleton Way, explained that  he already has a problem with debris coming off a 30-foot rock cliff in his backyard.

“The development will further accelerate erosion. We are worried about items from the cliff falling directly into our yard.”

For Ben Moore, the concern is the development could lead to monster homes that change the character of Middleton Way.

“Some of us have been living there for years and we deserve respect.”

A delegation also came from Browne Road on the opposite side of Kalamalka Lake Road.

“If they can’t confirm the slopes aren’t stable, they should be left in their natural state,” said resident Holly Baxter of clay deposits.

John Keith asked about the possibility of a slide.

“It could cross the road and obliterate the 29 strata units we live in,” he said.

Pedestrian safety on Kalamalka Lake Road was also raised as was access from Browne Road.

“They (Browne Road residents) have a terrible time getting out on to Kal Lake Road,” said neighbour Rob Shaw.

“A difficult situation will potentially become more difficult.”

However, the developer defends the project.

“We will do geotechnical investigations and there will be recommendations to mitigate any concerns,” said Russell Crawford, representing the developer.

“Prior to any blasting, there will be surveys of all of the houses. If there are any issues, homeowners can put in a claim through the insurance company and it will be dealt with. Nobody’s children will be put at harm. We live in the community and we’re not here to run rampant over anyone.”

It’s expected the rezoning bylaw could be adopted at the March 23 meeting.