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number of endangered and at risk species robbed of their natural habitat



estimated number of vehicles added to Naramata Road  



number of acres of forestry/grazing &  agricultural land that could be lost forever 

Join Us to Preserve The Hillsides of the Naramata Bench



Monday, June 3,  6PM Public Hearing In-Person Support NEEDED
Council Chambers, Penticton City Hall, 171 Main St.
MARK your calendar.  CALL your friends.  

Penticton’s Official Community Plan (OCP) revisions were recommended by the OCP Council appointed Task Force and supported by city staff.
Public engagement results show 80% support removing Spiller Rd. as a growth area. Some councillors disagree.
Small lot sizes in the Rural Residential designation will  allow for 100’s of homes on  east side of Naramata Road.
Council needs to hear from you, to ensure Spiller Rd. area is REMOVED from high density and commercial growth and lot sizes are 1 HECTARE or greater, regardless of municipal hookups.
We need to protect species at risk, support tourism and agriculture, meet the City of Penticton's 2030 emissions targets as laid out in the Community Climate Action Plan and Community Energy and Emissions Plan.














In the summer of 2023, City Council identified the provision of attainable and accessible housing across the entire housing spectrum as a priority.   A Task Force on Housing was created to review the policies of the Official Community Plan (OCP) and recommend updates to deliver on this priority.  


Big changes are being mandated by the province, and recommendations from Penticton Council’s OCP Task Force.   Penticton’s Official Community Plan and zoning bylaws will be updated.  There will be NO MORE OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS if zoning is adhered to.

The OCP Task Force recommended in December, 2023 to Council that “Spiller Road” be removed as a “growth area” and that the zoning  be kept “Rural Residential with large lot sizes”.   Unfortunately, the city has moved forward with 0.4 minimum hectare lot sizes unless the development is connected to water.  This will mean 100's of homes along the Bench.

Councillor Konanz and Graham want Spiller Rd. and area developed.   If the community does not support removal of Spiller Rd as a growth area in shapeyourcity, this Task Force recommendation may be overturned.  The reality is, even the developer doesn't want this land use.

The Society for Preservation of the Naramata Bench has asked for a minimum of one hectare lot sizes in our rural area along the Naramata Bench hillsides, regardless of septic or water connections.    This will help prevent clearcutting and removal of thousands of trees,  home to more species at risk than anywhere in Canada. That includes the Greyback Elk herd, the last herd in the Okanagan.

Most important, complete the feedback form in shapeyourcity. This is the feedback that will go to Council, and our rural community needs to be heard.


Question 5 and 6 will determine our future.  Send this information to your friends and neighbours.   April 14th is the deadline.

Feedback form:

Ask the questions here:


Attend an open house for Focus on Housing.

The Society for Preservation of the Naramata Bench has been lobbying for the following  changes in our rural community:

1.  Update the zoning by-law for Country Residential to align with Rural Residential minimum lot size of a minimum of 1 hectare or 2.47 acres;
2.  Remove the Spiller area as a growth area from the Penticton OCP;
2.  Ensure the landfill setback is 500 metres at 1050 Spiller Road;
3.  Ensure an adequate wildlife habitat for the Greyback Elk herd;
4. Protect all Environmentally Sensitive Areas 1 & 2 along the Naramata Bench;
5.  Discourage clearcuts and blasting on our hillsides;
6.  Protect species at risk that are found no where else in the world;
7.  Consider preserving the hillsides in conservation trusts and establishing protected corridors.


Reach out to public officials and support us:

Contact Mayor and Council

Official Community Plan Task Force

Contact RDOS Director Area E
Adrienne Fedrigo

Send letters to the editor, express your concerns:



Health Concerns

People who live close to municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are exposed to air pollutants emitted by the landfill, gases containing methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and other contaminants including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and bioaresols. There is also an unhealthy risk of exposure to contaminated soil and water.  Cancer, respiratory disease and acute respiratory infections among children may result from long term exposure. This site boundary has been proposed at a mere 300m from Penticton's Campbell Mountain Landfill. The property is exposed and susceptible to the smell of the dump, the garbage that blows onto the site and is close enough that the sounds of landfill trucks working can be heard from the proposed lots. For these and other health related issues it is the job of smart planning to discourage developments in such close proximity to landfill sites.


Environmental Concerns

The wilderness above the Naramata Bench has tremendous value for wildlife including amphibians, reptiles, mammals and many bird species at risk. The subject property serves as a vital nesting ground and migratory route for several species of birds. The site is an extremely sensitive environmental area (ESA), most is ESA 2 or even ESA 1. It is a migratory route and winter feeding ground for the last herd of Elk in the Okanagan (Video of Elk on Naramata Bench), and for species protected like the Northern Flicker, Lewis’s woodpecker, badgers, and more.  In the Okanagan, because of the population density in the valley bottoms and encroachment into the bench-lands and slopes, this development will hasten the extinction of some of the already threatened species.  Given the abundance of wildlife and the sensitivity of species, it’s clearly evident that this development promises to be the tipping point for many of those species on the list.

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Community Economics

Promises have been made from the developer regarding "affordable housing", 2000 jobs and tens of millions of dollars going back into the local economy.  We are told that the tax base will increase, when in fact taxes will merely go up. As with all new urban sprawl, the costs to service more distant subdivisions will be subsidized by existing taxpayers in other urban areas of the city. We have been asking questions and are discovering what this development really means for the economy in our community and it's long term sustainability.  Urban sprawl on the hillsides will destroy our brand as a city in a natural setting. Once the process of developing the hillsides is started it will continue, and we'll lose the very thing that continues to bring tourists here - the beauty of our natural setting. We want to ensure that the community knows the truth about how this densification will impact the Naramata Bench and ultimately the City of Penticton. And it's not pretty. Environmentally, economically and socially this proposed development will have a net-negative impact on the region.

What You Should Know

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Agricultural Concerns

The Naramata Bench is noted for its diverse agricultural production. In fact, agriculture and agri-tourism are the essence of the Naramata Bench. Together they contribute approximately $170 million annually to the local and Provincial economies. Any potential development, either within the current agricultural lands or on the hillsides overlooking the Naramata Bench, could detrimentally affect the watershed that feeds the valley and consequently the area's economic contribution. The agri-food industry is a vital, interdependent component of our economy. A land base protected for agriculture provides opportunities for the expansion of farming and ranching for a growing population. Agriculture should be a foundational element in our future economic growth and development prospects. That perspective needs to be supported by both industry and politicians looking to our future well-being.

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Tourism Values

The Naramata Bench has world class tourism assets. It has gained recognition regionally, nationally and internationally and the number of tourists is growing every year with expanding tourism opportunities for the future.

The Naramata Bench is also garnering worldwide recognition as one of Canada’s premiere wine regions and as a top destination for wine enthusiasts.

The favourable climate and geological conditions that are optimal for growing grapes on the Naramata Bench are also favourable for people and serve to create a fantastic location to vacation.

Visitors rave about the stunning setting of the Naramata Bench, a multitude of wineries; exceptional restaurants and a variety of accommodation nestled within verdant vineyards with shimmering lake and mountain views.

Such is the magic of the region, a scarce and notable jewel in the South Okanagan that needs to be preserved for future generations.

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We have to ensure our lands are preserved or developed in a responsible way for future generations to enjoy.  In the Napa Valley, 50 years of agricultural preservation led to a World-renowned Wine Region providing an annual economic benefit of more than $9.4 billion locally and nearly $34 billion nationally. The Naramata Bench contributes approximately $170 million to the local economies and has often been compared to Napa. With the same careful forethought for the preservation of the surrounding area we can preserve this unique terroir for future generations. Land conservancies preserve land for future generations, protect our food and water supply, purify our air, provide wildlife habitat, and strengthen our communities. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Study after study has demonstrated the tremendous economic benefits of land conservation.

Write your concerns in a letter to the media

Contact your mayor/councilors -

Pass the information along to neighbours and friends

Become a member or donate to our cause

Join our facebook group site

We are strong when we come together as a community

What can you do? 

To the best of our knowledge and belief, content in this web-site is based on information made available to the public as of  May 30, 2024  It is our intent to update this content as more current information becomes available.  Maps and information provided on this website are intended for general information only.  We make no representation regarding the accuracy or completeness of the content of our website and we assume no responsibility for damage or loss from use of any of the information provided herein.

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