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Town hall split over BC Tree Fruits plant expansion


April 18, 2017
By The Kelowna Daily Courier

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April 18, 2017, Lake Country, B.C. – An addition to a fruit plant that crosses municipal lines has caused division among Lake Country town staff. Planners want to relax regulations so the project can go ahead, but engineers hope council will abide by current building rules.

BC Tree Fruits wants to expand its facility on Bottom Wood Lake Road by 370 square metres. More than 97 per cent of the new area would be within the City of Kelowna, with just a sliver poking into Lake Country. Because so little of it extends into Lake Country, town planners will recommend that council allow the expansion without requiring BC Tree Fruits to pay for various upgrades to Bottom Wood Lake Road that would normally be required.

Those improvements concern such things as sidewalks, storm drains and streetlights, and would cost an estimated $223,000.

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However, the town’s engineering staff take a different view. They want council to order BC Tree Fruits to proceed with the upgrades to Bottom Wood Lake Road as required by the regulations. The improvements, engineers say, would be a major benefit to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians using the road.

The City of Kelowna last year granted the approvals necessary for most of the one-storey addition to be built on city land, but the project has been delayed pending Lake Country’s decision.

Kelowna’s boundaries were extended northward by the provincial government in the early 1970s to take in many industrial lands that previously had been part of the Winfield area.

The arbitrary annexation has long caused resentment among some Lake Country residents, who say the area was deprived of a significant tax base. READ MORE