Peachland Lions revive annual golf tournament, funds to support Camp Winfield

Lions golf tourney returns

The Peachland Lions club is getting back in the swing of things after an extended pandemic pause for its annual golf tournament.

Registration is now open for the 22nd edition of the CSN Collision Centres and Peachland Lions Club Charity Golf Tournament. It will take place at the Summerland Golf Course on April 30.

It’s the first time the tournament has been held since 2019, says Lions Club member Anne-Marie Mizzi.

She says they are hoping for between 130 and 180 participants, with a goal of raising $10,000 for Easter Seals Camp Winfield. The camp gives children and adults with disabilities a chance at a fun, safe and memorable summer experience.

The early-bird entry fee for the golf tournament is $135 and it’s available until April 15. After that, the registration fee is $145. The fee includes team golf, a golf cart and the banquet. $40 tickets are also available for just the banquet.

There will be prizes and a silent auction.

For golf entry forms contact David Tarry at [email protected] or call 778.363-2263.


Tick season has arrived in the Thompson-Okanagan

Tick season has arrived

The start of spring also brings with it tick season in the Thompson-Okanagan.

Peachland resident Margaret Derksen is sounding the alarm after finding a large tick on her granddaughter's head. Derksen believes Madison got the tick bite either Saturday or Sunday.

"They were out playing in the back yard and then they were out playing at the beach where they have the wood chips there. We went for a walk where the old golf course was. I honestly do not know where she picked it up. My guess is maybe down by the park with all the wood chips," she said.

Derksen didn't spot the tick until Monday.

"It was pretty gross. It was a very large tick," she said, adding it is believed it was a wood tick.

Derksen says they stopped at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge on the way to Vancouver.

"The doctor was wonderful. He got the whole tick out all intact," Derksen added, explaining her granddaughter was also treated for Lyme disease as a precaution.

Madison is reportedly doing well and has no signs or symptoms of the disease. Test results for the tick are expected to come back in a few days.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium borrelia burgdorferi and the borrelia mayonii. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.

Ticks can be found year-round in B.C. but they are most likely to bite in the spring (from March to June).

Information on dealing with the nasty critters and Lyme disease can be found here.

Go Wild! youth camp returns to Peachland's Silver Lake

Go Wild! in Peachland

British Columbia’s biggest and oldest conservation organization is hosting a nine-day overnight adventure experience for youth in Peachland this summer.

The BC Wildlife Federation’s Go Wild! Youth for Conservation event, scheduled for July 19 to 27, is more than just a camp.

“Go Wild is an intensive program to develop outdoor and leaderships skills geared to teens who want to make a difference in their communities. Participants will gain the skills and knowledge they need to become environmental leaders and run their own conservation projects,” said BCWF.

Based at Silver Lake Camp, the program includes a three-day, two-night backpacking trip, conservation workshops, and hands-on habitat restoration projects. It is for youths aged 12 to 17.

Participants learn map and compass skills, archery, fire and shelter building, trip planning, conservation, and leadership skills from BCWF experts in the field.

By the end of camp, participants will have a comprehensive toolbox of skills and techniques to enable them to lead conservation initiatives in their communities for a lifetime.

Registration for the program is limited and it typically sells out fast, with an early bird discount ending on April 14. BCWF members also receive a discount at registration.

If cost is a barrier to participation, you can ask about a subsidy at [email protected] More information is here.


Peachland ready to borrow if it must; $75,000 in grants approved

$75,000 in grants approved

Peachland will receive authorization to borrow $1.5 million, but probably won’t use it.

Council was told Tuesday a borrowing bylaw must be passed annually in case the municipality needs the money before taxes are collected.

“I’m not aware that the council has ever used funds under this bylaw and it is not expected they will be used this year. However the bylaw needs to be in place,” Director of Finance Garry Filafilo told council.

“This is largely a housekeeping item. It is a statutory requirement that we have access to sufficient funds should we be slow in collecting taxes. It happens every year and in the time I’ve been on council we’ve never had to use it,” said Coun. Terry Condon.

Council gave three readings to the bill Tuesday and will give final approval at its March 28 meeting.


Also approved at Tuesday's Peachland council meeting — ten community groups will receive almost $75,000 in community grants from the municipality.

Council approved the following grants:

  • Peachland Citizens’ Patrol and Office — $4,150
  • Peachland Historical Society — $16,000
  • Peachland Community Arts Council — $15,000
  • Peachland Wellness Centre — $15,000
  • Okanagan Folk School Society — $3,000
  • Peachland Fall Fair — $3,000
  • Bat Education and Ecological Protection Society — $1,000
  • Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance — $1,000
  • Peachland and District Retirement Society — $10,000
  • Peachland Ambassador Society — $5,375

Peachland urges upgrades on pair of Highway 97 intersections

Ministry lobbied on Hwy 97

Several Peachland intersections will be slated for upgrading under a Highway 97 transportation plan that was recently finalized.

Peachland council received a presentation Tuesday on the Central Okanagan Integrated Transportation Strategy.

The plan calls for a multi-million dollar improvement project at the Trepanier Bench Road-Highway 97 intersection, and as well as upgrades to several other Peachland intersections.

“I guess I was kind of alarmed to hear that for the Trepanier intersection, you requested funding you don’t actually have it in place yet,” Coun. David Collins said to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staffers giving the presentation.

Collins was told that’s not unusual. Planning is done first. The funding follows.

“Trepanier’s no small project,” said James Donnelly, a senior transportation engineer with consulting firm Urban Systems. “It’s many, many millions of dollars to fix that intersection.”

Mayor Patrick Van Minsel said he lobbied Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming in a meeting earlier Tuesday about the Renfrew Road intersection at the south end of town and was assured it’s priority No. 2.

Council on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a 72-unit development on Renfrew Road that may make upgrades there more urgent.

The highway plan, in the works for years, proposes improvements from Peachland to Lake Country. It recommends removing the Westbank highway couplet. The solution may be to put the entire highway on one of the roads running through the centre of Westbank, council heard.

A second bridge across the lake is rejected, but a sixth lane could be added to the W.R. Bennett Bridge for transit.

Previous studies have said a Peachland bypass won’t be needed until 2040. The idea will be revisited closer to that time, council was told.

The strategy was presented to Kelowna council on Monday. Presentations will also be made to Lake Country and West Kelowna councils and the Central Okanagan regional district. Funding is not in place for any of the projects proposed in the strategy.

Peachland is also lobbying to lower the 90 km/h speed limit on Highway 97 from Princeton Avenue to Antler’s Beach to 70 km/h

Traffic concerns loom as Peachland council gives preliminary approval to subdivision

Subdivision sent to hearing

A 72-unit subdivision proposed on two properties in the Hardy Falls area received preliminary approval Tuesday from Peachland council, but isn’t in the clear yet.

The subdivision is planned for two properties covering 18.1 acres on Renfrew Road.

Additional traffic, access to the site, a substandard road and a problem intersection at Highway 97 sparked concerns among councillors, who have already received a lot of comments about the proposal from area residents.

“It’s a gorgeous site,” said Coun. Randey Brophy. “However, we have also heard many, many concerns from citizens about the transportation access and egress to and from the site.”

Brophy said residents are concerned about the cumulative effect of developments in the area.

“Your development may not in and of itself affect traffic that bad. However, in aggregate, there are a number of different developments in the area that will affect traffic.

“All of this has to be addressed before we move forward,” he said.

The developer commissioned a report said the increase in traffic would be negligible, though councillors weren’t convinced.

“The applicant’s transportation engineer concluded that this slight increase in traffic will have negligible to no impact on the existing operations at the Hardy Road intersection and will not add to any previously identified safety concerns,” a report to council said.

The development will include 32 townhomes, “six orchard cottage homes, 13 neighbourhood hillside homes, 17 executive hillside homes” and “four executive lakeview homes,” according to a presentation to council

The applicant has agreed to build 10% of the 32 proposed multi-family (townhome) units as flex units, the report to council said. Flex units are essentially self-contained secondary suites with their own entrances.

“The development itself is suited for the proposed area,” said Mayor Patrick Van Minsel. “We need to hedge out some details that we’re not happy with, and we will do that.”

Councillors agreed to send the application to a public hearing. A date hasn’t been set yet.

Also in the Hardy Falls area, an eight-unit subdivision on two acres on Thorne Road received near-final approval. Final approval will come when the developer meets certain conditions.

The development will consist of eight single-family dwellings.

Council heard the developer will pay to bring a sewer line to the area, will pave a portion of Thorne Road and pay for water main improvements. Speed sign boards for the nearby Highway 97 will also be offered to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“The developer has basically done everything asked of him. He’s providing less lots than he could have provided on the site. He’s widened Thorne Road. He’s extended both the sewer and the pavement with contributions from the town beyond his site. And he’s providing signage to warn about the speed limit that he’s donating for Highway 97. To my mind, he’s done everything asked of him,” said Brophy.

Seniors group worried delays in permit approval will spell the end of an affordable housing complex

Seniors housing in jeopardy?

A former mayor of Peachland is worried delays for the second phase of an affordable housing project for seniors will cost the project millions in federal and provincial funding.

Keith Fielding, the president of the Peachland Seniors Support Society (PSSS), reached out to Castanet to express his concerns over how long it’s taking the District of Peachland to respond to a rezoning and development permit application.

“The society’s rezoning and development permit application was submitted to the district 10 months ago and to date has yielded only a variety of red flags: processing delays; resolution of planning concerns complicated by an outsourced planning process,” wrote Fielding in an email.

He points out that PSSS has established a pathway to millions of dollars of provincial and federal funding to build a second phase of seniors housing on district-owned lands on 5th Street.

“This funding has been secured in light of commitments made by the previous council to lease the land for the project and to waive development cost charges (DCCs) and planning fees. However, it now seems that some decision makers do not see the provision of another 73 units of affordable seniors housing to be a priority or even perhaps, a desirable goal,” wrote Fielding, who was mayor for two terms between 2008 and 2014.

He says the housing project could collapse if it does not get the go-ahead from the current district council.

“We will then need to advise the Province that the $500,000 already spent over the past two years on pre-development costs has been wasted; that we no longer need their proposed $8 million capital contribution; and, that their anticipated $500,000 annual operating subsidy will not be required. Federally, we will need to decline a potential $3 million CMHC contribution, and a preferred rate CMHC mortgage,” Fielding adds.

Peachland’s chief administrative officer says at this point in negotiations two issues need to be resolved before the housing complex can move forward. One is parking, the other is how to fund development cost charges (DCC).

Joe Creron says waiving development cost charges will likely push up taxes in 2024.

“As part of phase two former council recommended to waive DCCs, amounting to $1,089,598 which means the District needs to contribute that sum of money. Therefore, if we were to fund the shortfall through taxation next year as part of the 2024 Budget it would cost Peachland taxpayers $129,940 annually (additional 3% tax increase),” he noted in an email to Castanet.

Creron says DCCs were waived for phase one of the project and that accounts for 1.6% of the current municipal tax increase of 4.24%.

As for the other main sticking point, the CAO says phase one parking is a problem and the district doesn’t want to replicate that with phase two.

“For the past 1.5 years for phase two, we have said to provide parking on site. So this issue still needs resolving between the parties. Their building design shows no parking on site and the developer wants to use 5th Street for phase two designated parking,” explains Creron.

However, residents of other seniors developments near 5th Street have raised concerns with phase two parking, because they too have asked for designated parking on 5th Street. Creron says that at this point district administration does not recommend using 5th Street for any designated parking.

Fielding believes the district is trying to negotiate more money from the province to offset the cost of waiving the DCCs.

A meeting with the Ministry of Housing was set for February 22, but was cancelled. It’s hoped the meeting can be rescheduled for the latter half of March or in early April.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking.

He says many people are wanting and waiting for Phase 2 and further delays are unacceptable.

Even if council gives the go ahead to the rezoning application, shovels probably wouldn’t be in the ground until the summer, more than a year after the Peachland Seniors Support Society filed the applications.

“To date, councillors have not been directly engaged in these issues or asked to consider abandoning the project in favour of a private development. However, it is a known ‘elephant in the room’ and one that has to be confronted,” says Fielding. “What is needed now is for councillors to step-up, insert themselves into the process, engage in problem solving, and see this project to an appropriate conclusion.

“We urge them to do that at the earliest opportunity.”

Foreshore flood mitigation about to begin along Beach Avenue in Peachland

Beach closed for flood work

Foreshore flood mitigation work is about to get underway along Beach Avenue this week.

Equipment will be arriving on site over the next few days. An area between 5th Street and Swim Bay will be fenced off to make way for the work.

Contractors will be taking measures to strengthen the foreshore, including dredging within Swim Bay, re-keying of riprap, and installing log structures similar to ones already in place in other areas of the shoreline.

While the Foreshore Flood Mitigation project is underway, pedestrian detours will be in place on the opposite side of Beach avenue. People are asked to respect the barriers for their safety and the safety of the contractors.

Substantial completion of the project is expected in early to mid-May.

Crash cleared on Highway 97 south of Peachland

Crash cleared on Hwy 97

UPDATE 10:20 a.m.

The crash has now been cleared.

UPDATE: 8:52 a.m.

According to DriveBC's Twitter page, Highway 97 has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions between Park Avenue and Brent Road.

Crews are currently on scene and assessment is in progress.

Castanet will update the story when more information becomes available.

Original: 8:48 a.m.

Highway 97 is closed in both directions three kilometres south of Peachland due to a vehicle incident.

According to DriveBC, the incident happened between Park Avenue and Brent Road.

The road is closed to all traffic, except emergency vehicles.

At this point in time, there is no detour and a timeline for reopening is not yet available.

Castanet will update the story when DriveBC gives an update at 10 a.m.

School board candidate failed to file financial disclosure papers, disqualified from running in 2026

Fehr barred from election

A Peachland woman who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Central Okanagan School Board during the October municipal election has been disqualified from seeking office in the next election.

Elections BC announced Karrie Fehr is one of 50 candidates provincewide ineligible to seek election in 2026 after failing to file her financial disclosure statement.

Fehr finished third in the Peachland, Central Okanagan West runoff. It was the seat formerly held by long-time board chair Moyra Baxter.

Candidates for council, school board or regional district seats were required to file a financial disclosure statement by the middle of January regardless of how they finished.

Those who failed to meet the January deadline were given until Feb. 13 to get their paperwork in or face disqualification.

Those who filed late were also slapped with a $500 fine.

Three other Okanagan candidates also failed to file and have been disqualified in 2026.

They include council candidates Lindsey Hall (Penticton) and Erik Olesen (Vernon) and Vernon school board candidate Andy Collins.

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