Blackmun Bay

A massive development, including hundreds of homes and a 180-room hotel, proposed for Campell Road in West Kelowna is opposed by many nearby residents. A public hearing the project will be held Feb. 6.

A massive and controversial West Kelowna waterfront project would come complete with its own firehall, its would-be developer says.

But promoters of Blackmun Bay, which envisions 300 homes in towers up to 10 storeys and a 180-room hotel, say they shouldn’t be expected to provide a second access to go along with Campbell Road.

It’s unreasonable for the City of West Kelowna to require such an access, the developer suggests, because other development in the waterside neighbourhood of Casa Loma has been permitted without a second route in and out of the community.

“Therefore, our specific proposal should not be overburdened by a situation that has prevailed since the area was opened to development,” IBI Group writes in a letter to the city.

The suggestion of a second access arises in part because of concerns about how firefighting might be impacted should the Blackmun Bay project, which goes to a public hearing on Feb. 6, eventually be approved by council.

“We are ready to provide the necessary firefighting requirement to support fire suppression on site to ensure full firefighting capability to service the project proposed,” the developer says.

In a somewhat unusual move, IBI Group has also asked council to give second reading the project before it goes to the February public hearing. Company representative Robert Moskovitz will make that request at tomorrow’s council meeting.

The rationale, Moskovitz says, is that four of council’s nine members are newly-elected and “would benefit” from hearing from IBI Group about Blackmun Bay before the public hearing is held. As well, Moskovitz says, some additional technical studies have been completed since the proposal was last before council in mid-2018.

The proposed development site covers seven hectares and includes almost 300 metres of lakeshore.

Its residential density would be higher than any other location in West Kelowna.

Last year, council received a 300-name petition from people opposed to the Blackmun Bay proposal. Critics say it represents far too much density for the site, is out of keeping with the predominantly single-family home nature of Casa Loma, and would lead to significant traffic problems.

An online survey conducted by the Casa Loma residents’ association found 87 per cent of the 171 respondents were against the proposed development.

“I love it here and want to keep the quiet charm and character in my community,” was a typical comment among hundreds made by survey respondents.

For its part, IBI Group says Blackmun Bay’s design would preserve farmland, introduce a high-quality resort to West Kelowna, present investment opportunities, and expand the city’s tax base.

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