Ambitious care facility and medical research centre gets failing grade from Peachland planners

Care home proposal panned

An ambitious 150-bed seniors care facility proposed for Highway 97 in Peachland near the entrance to Hardy Falls is getting the thumbs down from district planners.

The proposal is being brought forward by Kelowna-based Valley Medical.

Along with the care beds, the facility would also include a full, publicly accessed medical facility with radiology and ultra sound labs, pathology collection, a UBC accredited Alzheimer's and Parkinson's research centre as well as a public daycare facility.

There would be dining, physio and exercise facilities for residents as well.

District staff are bringing the proposal to council early as an "authorization to proceed," to determine whether it has the appetite to proceed to a detailed review stage and a formal application.

Planning staff are recommending council halt further review of the Official Community Plan (OCP) and rezoning application for a number of reasons.

They cite a conflict with the OCP and regional growth strategy, traffic and access, servicing and building form.

Staff state the development is proposed for a hillside area below Renfrew Street with a slope of about 70 per cent while the OCP stipulates development be limited to areas with less than a 30 per cent slope.

"Even more significant is the fact that the subject property is in an area with a history of landslide and geotechnical concerns as well as significant groundwater issues," the report states.

Staff are also concerned about the density of the project within a low density area.

Concerns were raised about access to the facility which would be via Renfrew Road and the fact it would need to be upgraded to a two-lane road to make the development feasible.

There were also concerns raised around the preliminary design of the building with no windows for units in the top three floors and accommodating the uses and density given the sites topography.

"It must be acknowledged that there is a significant financial investment required to prepare the necessary professional reports and studies to advance this proposal and, in fairness to the applicant, council is requested to consider the policy position and the potential issues with the proposal prior to granting authorization to proceed," the report concluded.

Peachland council will review the proposal Tuesday.

More Peachland News