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Contentious Kelowna Springs Golf Course debate could go to a public hearing

A debate on the future of Kelowna Springs Golf Course is once again going to be held in council chambers on Monday.

The whole discussion centers around the future land use designation of the property located at 480 Penno Road. The proposal is to change the property from industrial designation back to private recreational.

Last month, city council supported a motion brought forward by councillor Luke Stack to have staff bring forward a report with the official amendment.

If Kelowna City Council agrees to give first reading to the Official Community Plan amendment, that would send the matter to a public hearing as early as next month.

The contentious issue has been ongoing since August 2022, when council voted to change the property to industrial designation.

However, coun. Stack has maintained his position that the property should remain designated for future private recreational uses.

Coun. Stack had support from councillors Mohini Singh, Charlie Hodge and Maxine DeHart last summer.

<who> Photo Credit: Kelowna Springs Gold Course

Former mayor Colin Basran, councillor Loyal Woolridge and former councillors Ryan Donn and Gail Given were opposed. Former coun. Brad Sieben excused himself from the vote due to a conflict of interest.

During his campaign, mayor Tom Dyas said he would fight to save Kelowna Springs.

If Stack can hold onto the support from three of his colleagues and the city’s new mayor, the motion could head to a public hearing, which would give the public and the new property owner an opportunity to address council.

At the end of February, Vancouver-based Denciti Group announced it had purchased the 106-acre golf course in fall 2022 with plans to redevelop it into an industrial complex.

Garry Fawley, CEO of the group, said the previous owners happily sold with the knowledge that it was going to become an industrial project.

Council is scheduled to consider giving first reading to the amendment on Monday at 1:30 pm.

There is a public hearing scheduled for March 21, however, if this topic passes, it would likely be featured on the April 13 public hearing.

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