District of Peachland issues boil water notice due to watermain repairs

Peachland boil water notice

The District of Peachland has issued a boil water notice for a large area of the community due to a watermain break.

The affected properties are on the north side of Highway 97, north of Victoria Street and Ehlers Road, where crews are working on the damaged line.

The repairs require a full shutdown of the line and that is affecting water flow to higher elevation properties in the Gerrie Road and upper Ponderosa area. Those homes saw an immediate water pressure loss. The district says the reservoirs supplying the Trepanier area and lower Ponderosa are at approximately 65 of capacity, but as it drops, the number of properties experiencing lower pressure will increase.

To prevent further loss of water pressure, residents are being asked to reduce all non-essential water use, including irrigation and car washing.

The district has also issued a boil water notice in accordance with Interior Health. Water for drinking, brushing teeth or preparing food or drinks should be boiled for one minute or residents should use distilled water.

Victoria Street between the north and south entrances to Ehlers Road is closed as crews work to fix the watermain that burst early Wednesday.


Power restored to nearly 3,800 in Peachland, Summerland

Power restored

UPDATE 1:42 p.m.

Power has been restored to the affected customers in the Peachland and Summerland areas.

BC Hydro says the outages were causes by birds contacting its lines.

ORIGINAL 6:15 a.m.

BC Hydro says crews are working to restore electricity to nearly 3,800 customers in the Peachland and Summerland areas.

Power was knocked out early this morning in two areas. One hit shortly before 2 a.m. northwest of Highway 97, affecting 1079 customers. The other is affecting service to 2716 customers south of Highway 97 and was discovered at approximately 2:35 a.m.

Both outages are blamed on objects falling on power lines.

BC Hydro estimates the lights will come back on around noon Tuesday.

Local communities, including Peachland secure funding to speed up delivery of homes

Funding to fast track homes

The provincial government is handing out funds to 38 municipal governments in an effort to create more efficient development approval processes.

Among those singled out is the District of Peachland. It is initiating a development-approval streamlining project to clarify and improve the development-application process. The project will involve coordinating with neighbouring communities to increase consistency across jurisdictions and facilitating collaboration across departments to reduce application delays.

"We're leaving no stone unturned in our work to deliver more homes for people, faster," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "The Local Government Development Approvals Program was created so that local governments can improve the internal processes and development approvals so that we can speed up the delivery of homes for people living and working in B.C."

The Local Government Development Approvals Program, administered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, was created to help local governments implement best practices and develop innovative ways to support non-profit housing organizations, developers and other stakeholders to speed up the delivery of homes.

"Our province continues to grow with more people than ever before choosing to call B.C. home," said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. "We're continuing to support local government's ability to move forward with housing, and this grant funding will help new homes get built faster and more efficiently throughout the province for many years to come."

The Province has provided approximately $4.4 million toward the 2024 intake. The program was open to all municipalities, regional districts and the Islands Trust.

"Local governments throughout B.C. have been implementing changes to streamline development-approvals processes to address community-building goals," said Trish Mandewo, president, UBCM. "This funding will help catalyze that work and support local governments as they implement best practices related to permit approvals, inspections and more."


Police confirm woman out in Okanagan Lake Tuesday night reported safe and sound

Found safe after windstorm

West Kelowna RCMP confirm an individual who was spotted out on Okanagan Lake in a canoe during Tuesday night's windstorm has been reported safe.

West Kelowna RCMP were called to Peachland just after 6 p.m. Tuesday night to assist Central Okanagan Search and Rescue after an individual observed a person out on the lake believed to be in distress.

Police say the woman who was spotted in Seclusion Bay Area has been confirmed safe.

"The woman says she is trained to paddle in extreme weather conditions," said Cpl. Michael Gauthier.

District of Peachland rethinking how multi-unit lots could look

Rethinking building lots

Allowing multi-unit housing complexes to be built closer to the street than is currently permitted was a step too far for Peachland councillors in trying to meet new provincial housing regulations.

Building four-plexes 4.5 metres from the street when current houses are required to be six metres away could destroy neighbourhood characters and upset neighbours, councillors said.

With a quiet anger that grew as council’s hour-and-20-minute debate stretched on Tuesday, Coun. Rick Ingram convinced his fellow councillors a 4.5-metre front-yard setback was something too horrible to contemplate.
Peachland is facing an end-of-the-month provincial deadline to pass new zoning bylaws that will that allow-multi-unit buildings to be built on lots formerly reserved for single-family homes.

Planners with the municipality and the company Urban Systems went through a lot of compromises to come up with new zoning rules that would comply with the provincial regulations and also meet conditions Peachland was determined to hold onto.

Reduced setbacks and increased lot coverage were one way planners could create four-plexes that met BC Housing square footage standards while maintaining the municipality’s 9.1-metre building height limit, for example.

“We want to make sure that someone can build four units within that height and be able to fit that on the lot. So we’ve done the math and we felt that 4.5 metres was the right amount to be able to do that,” said consultant Daniel Sturgeon.

At first, Ingram suggested and council agreed the proposed new setbacks could apply to multi-unit buildings, but single-family homes would remain under existing the six-metre rule.

But a few minutes later, Ingram wasn’t satisfied with that or a compromise of five metres.
“I really urge that we increase these front-yard setbacks. I really think that as opposed to saying five, we should stick to six,” he said.

“If it means that only 40 per cent of our R1 (zoned) lots could put four houses on it because of that, that’s still an awful lot of R1 lots that could happen in Peachland and we don’t have to make every single one viable for every single configuration,” he said.

Under the new bylaws, 1,013 formerly single-family lots will be available for buildings with up to four units while 1,066 lots will now be eligible to have secondary and garden suites.

Based on experiences elsewhere, Peachland might expect 4-5 applications a year for multi-unit building constructions, the consultants estimated.

Coun. Alena Glasman questioned how realistic BC Housing’s suggested sizes were and wondered “are we making micro houses for people?”

The bylaws were given preliminary approval on Tuesday and are slated to receive final approval at council’s June 25 meeting. They will then be submitted to the province for approval.

Coun., Terry Condon worried that if Peachland didn’t comply with the provincial standards, the province might step in and take over the municipality’s planning functions.

In a related matter, a motion that would allow both secondary and garden suites on a single lot was deferred to the next meeting.

West Kelowna RCMP confirm search continues for missing kayaker last seen on Okanagan Lake Tuesday night

Police search for kayaker

The search continues for a missing kayaker or paddle boarder who was last seen on Okanagan Lake Tuesday night during a windstorm.

West Kelowna RCMP were called to Peachland just after 6 p.m. Tuesday night to assist Central Okanagan Search and Rescue after an individual observed a kayak or paddle board out on the lake.

Police say it is unclear whether or not an individual was aboard the vessel, and the caller eventually lost sight of it.

The person was last seen in the Seclusion Bay Area.

"COSAR conducted extensive patrols of the area without locating the vessel or anyone in distress. RCMP air services will deploy this morning to scan the area; however, at this time, there is no report of anyone missing," said Cpl. Michael Gauthier.

The person was reportedly wearing a pink hat.

If you believe you are the individual police are looking for, you are asked to call the West Kelowna RCMP.

Peachland council takes steps to prevent vandalism at water supply

Water supply tampered with

New security measures will be implemented to prevent vandalism from happening again to Peachland’s water supply, Shawn Grundy, the municipality’s public works director, told council on Tuesday.

“On Friday, May 31, there was some vandalism to the valve that controls the outlet flow from Silver Lake,” Grundy said. “They did some sort of damage with either a hammer or some sort of a heavy implement, enough so that they could control the valve and the flow coming out.

“So what they did is they opened up the line and started draining down the lake. One of the neighbouring cabin owners noticed it, came over, shut off the valve and let us know immediately.”

No real harm was done.

“The water loss has no direct effect on the district’s potable water supply,” said Grundy. “That water does go down into the Trepanier Creek watershed as opposed to Peachland Creek watershed, which is where we source all of our potable water at this point.

“We are working on some new security measures both there and in our other upland lakes to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

“This is the first time this has happened at Silver Lake in about 20 plus years.”

Search for missing paddle boarder in Okanagan Lake paused

Last seen on Okanagan Lake

UPDATE 10 p.m.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue says the search for a missing paddle boarder has been paused.

COSAR member Duane Tresnich said they haven’t located an individual yet and are waiting on more details from the RCMP.

The individual was last seen along the Seclusion Bay Area and is believed to be wearing a pink hat.

If you believe you are the individual COSAR is looking for you are asked to call the police.

The public is being asked to keep a lookout for a missing paddle boarder or kayaker out in Okanagan Lake.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue member Duane Tresnich says a person that is believed to be either paddle boarding or kayaking got caught up in the windstorm on the water just after 6 p.m. and hasn't been heard from or seen since.

Tresnich says the person is believed to be in the Seclusion Bay Area and is wearing a pink hat.

"We are unsure of the sex of the person. If the person made their way to shore we ask that they let us know," he said.

COSAR, the Peachland Fire Department and RCMP are assisting in the search.

Peachland Riding Club to host three-day riding event this month

Race event for PRC this June

The Peachland Riding Club is hosting a race event leading up to Canada Day.

The event promises to be a ton of fun for the entire family and people are encouraged to join in the celebration at the Peachland Riding Club's Canada Day Races, happening from June 28-30, with a variety of festivities, horse competitions and attractions for all ages.

"For over 55 years, the Peachland Riding Club has been a cornerstone of our community, passionately promoting equestrian sports since 1969," said the club in a written statement.

With $1,000 added to the Open competitions on Saturday and Sunday, plus numerous other cash prizes, there’s plenty at stake.

Aside from the competition spectators can enjoy live music, dancing, and a beer garden.

Saturday night promises additional fun with races starting at 7 p.m.

"We’re thrilled to introduce new additions this year, such as buckles in Pole Bending D’s, a Novice division for newer horse/rider combos, and a special 'Never Won a Buckle' side pot."

For more information head to their website.

Peachland man deeply impacted by fatal crash in his front yard erects memorial

Memorial for motorcyclist

A Peachland man who witnessed a fatal motorcycle collision on Monday evening says he's working hard to move past the horrific memory.

Eduardo Alves says he decided to make a memorial to mark the spot and help him move on.

"It's right in front of my house, so this is a reminder," he said.

Alves says he had to seek help and has done several sessions, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, to help him get the grim images out of his head.

"I was able to disconnect my feelings and emotions towards this death. So it really helped. I had to close the chapter," says Alves.

The memorial consists of one of the shocks recovered from the crash and the flowers the people involved in the collision say they were pulling over to pick.

Alves talked to the occupants of the truck involved in the collision – a couple with their dog – who were in shock at the time. Alves says they told him they saw some beautiful flowers by the side of the road and wanted to pull over and pick some, and that's when the collision occurred.

Alves says the collision happened at 9:45 Monday night. Police have yet to confirm the fatality or release any further details on the collision.

"I don't know anything about the family but my heart goes out to them. You know, I don't know if he was a father or a brother or a dad. But this whole experience was just horrific," says Alves.

For his part, Alves says he's not assigning any blame and he hopes other people enjoy the flowers the couple found so beautiful.

"I'm not cutting anything down. If anything, it's a closure for everyone that was involved in [the collision]," says Alves. "There were no bad intentions. The lady had no bad intentions. She was just wanting to go get some flowers. It happened in a split second. So it's not just for me, it's for everyone. It's also for the family too."

Highway 97 was closed overnight and reopened at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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