First and second readings for lower Princeton townhouse developement

View of the pool looking west. Rendering District of Peachland

Joanne Layh

An Official Community Plan (OCP) and rezoning amendment application for the lower portion of Turner Park at 6099 Jackson Cres. received first and second readings by Peachland council Tuesday night.

The developer, Noura Homes, has applied to change the land use designation from Intensive Residential to Medium Density Residential and to rezone from Public/Institutional (P2) to Multi-unit Residential – Low Density and Cluster (RM3) to facilitate a new residential townhouse development in the Lower Princeton area.

Director of planning and development services Darin Schaal described the proposal as “a bit of a downzoning” in the sense that the existing zoning (P2) allows a range of permitted uses while the proposed RM3 zone is narrowed down to only two possible uses – multiple unit residential units and care facilities.

Last week the developer held a a public consultation meeting to provide the community with information about the proposal (for more information about the public consultation meeting, see here).

Before it was recently subdivided, the 8.26-acre Turner Park property changed hands several times in recent years. The property was purchased by School District #23 in 1976 from the Turner family as a future school site. The District of Peachland obtained permission in 1979 to utilize the property until the land was required for school purposes or disposed of by the school district. The municipality made an offer to purchase it from the school district in 2006 but was outbid by SSC Ventures. SSC Ventures had applied for rezoning to develop single and multiple family residences but ended up listing the property for sale.

In Oct. 2020 the District of Peachland approved a land acquisition to preserve public use of Turner Park for a purchase price of $3.1 million, later taking ownership of the lands on Mar. 30, 2021.

Turner Park officially reopened to the public on Mar. 31, 2021. A plan to determine the future of the upper portion of Turner Park’s uses is currently underway, and now Noura Homes has come forward hoping to create a residential townhouse development on the recently subdivided lower portion of the park.

In subdividing and selling the lower portion of the property, the district is hoping to recover some of the cost of purchasing Turner Park.

The 2.7-acre property is currently listed by William Wright Commercial for $1.8 million; the sale of the property is contingent upon the developer’s proposal receiving approval.

The applicant is proposing approximately 23 dwelling units on the site. Depending on the final number of units, the developer would be required to make a Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) of $40,000 – $50,000.

Rendering presented is subject to change and may not be exact. Rendering Noura Homes

If the application proceeds, there will be frontage improvements required on Princeton Ave and Ellison Ave, in addition to an upgrade to the existing bus stop.

“I don’t have any problems with this,” said Councillor Patrick Van Minsel. “There are a few question marks but they will be solved at the building permit application level and the public will still have its input at the public hearing.”

Coun. Terry Condon voted against the recommendation, citing concerns about traffic management.

Coun. Keith Fielding also voted against the proposal, stating that the land would be better suited to single family residential.

Coun. Pam Cunningham said traffic isn’t that much of an issue as people do not all come and go at the same time.

“Having townhomes back onto a park is quite a lovely thing. I don’t see how it would ruin the neighbourhood, so I don’t have any problems with this proposal,” said Cunningham.

Coun. Mike Kent and Mayor Cindy Fortin also voted in favour of the proposal.

Coun. Pete Coolio was absent from the meeting, so the recommendation passed 4-2.

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