A proposal to amend the Official Community Plan (OCP) and rezone a Thorne Rd property received first and second readings from Peachland council last week.
Local developer Steve Penich is proposing to subdivide his Thorne Rd property into an eight-lot single family subdivision.
The .81-hectare lot, located at 6785 Thorne Rd, is in the southwestern-most corner of the district in the Hardy Falls neighbourhood, approximately 300 meters southwest of and 30 meters above the Hardy St and Hwy 97 intersection.
To facilitate an eight-lot subdivision, the developer is applying to amend the OCP land use designation for this property from Rural (RL) to Low Density Residential (LDR) and to rezone the property from Rural Residential (RR-1) to Single Detached Residential (R-1).
Staff recommended council support the application because of the community benefits that the subdivision would bring; if Penich’s project goes ahead, the town is currently proposing that he be required to pave Thorne Rd from the existing pavement to just past Log Chute Rd and provide a sewer main installation from Hardy St to the west end of Thorne Rd, which will provide opportunities for other nearby residents, not just those on Thorne Rd.
“Thorne Rd is getting paved all the way up to the top anyway, or that’s the proposal. Would it not make sense to just pop the sewer line in there as well before that’s paved so that asphalt never has to be torn up again?” asked Coun. Dave Collins. He suggested to staff that the developer be required to bring the sewer up to the same point as the paving.
In recent years the town has been making funding contributions toward paving Thorne Rd, so if the developer assumes the cost, it would save the community approximately $400,000.
The poor condition of Thorne Rd has been a concern to residents for nearly a decade.
When a water main was installed back in 2013, the municipality tore up the road to put in the infrastructure but didn’t leave the road in the condition they found it. Since then, residents of Thorne Rd have been looking for a remedy from the municipality.
According to Thorne Rd resident Jim Carpenter, prior to the water main installation the road had a hard surface made of recycled blacktop.
When the item was up for budget consideration last year, Carpenter said the problem has since been compounded by the immense increase in scope of the nearby orchard and he pressed council to prioritize the project.
Earlier this month Penich held a public open house at the Little School House.
“Most of the comment at that public open house was very positive, according to the developer,” said planning manager Lor Pellegrino.
“I’m familiar with other development that Steve has done around town and they turned out to be quite desirable subdivisions so my inclination at this stage of the game is to give this my full support,” said Coun. Terry Condon.
“I think this proposal is very suited for that kind of infill development.” said Mayor Patrick Van Minsel.
The next step in the process will be to hold a public hearing. Pellegrino said they are targeting a January 2023 date.