Candidates answer questions on hillside development Spiller Road - Oct 15/22 Election Penticton

Updated: Nov 8


We have had a few requests from interested folks on who they should vote for in the upcoming election. The short answer is that it depends on which issues facing the community concern you the most. Almost all the candidates are concerned with crime, homelessness, affordable housing, the environment and climate change.

There are lots of issues to consider, however, the questions and answers which follow deal specifically with development and densification on the Naramata hillsides. We have ranked the responses received in order of preference for those candidates who are more aligned with preserving the Naramata Bench and limiting hillside development.

Mayor Candidates

John Vassilaki

1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth.

1.A. OUR AGRICULTURE LAND IS SHRINKING. THIS HAS TO STOP. THE OKANAGAN VALLEY GOT ITS TOURISM POPULARITY BY THE FORESIGHT OF OUR PIONEERS TO ESTABLISH OUR FRUIT INDUSTRY AND NOW OUR WINE INDUSTRY WHICH IS WHAT HAS MADE PENTICTON WHAT IT IS TODAY. WE SHOULD BE DEVELOPING THE VALLEY BOTTOM AND NOT OUR HILLSIDES ESPECIALLY AREAS NEAR AGRICULTURAL LANDS WE MUST NOT LOSE THE AMBIANCE THAT ATTRACTS PEOPLE TO VISIT & LIVE HERE. AFTER ALL WE ARE THE "PLACE TO LIVE FOREVER".


2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A THE OCP MUST BE REVISITED EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN ONLY 3 YEARS IN PLACE. IT IS ALREADY OUTDATED, NOT ONLY FOR THE HILLSIDE DEVELOPMENT IN THE SPILLER ROAD BLOCK BUT FOR OTHER AREAS THAT ARE IN HIGH DEMAND FOR DEVELOPMENT.

3.Q. Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?

3.A YES, I WOULD COMMIT TO ENFORCING THE SETBACK OF 500 METERS FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS.

a. LEACHING THAT WILL CONTAMINATE HOUSING IN THE SURROUNDING AREAS.

b. LIABILITY FOR THE CITY WITH LAWSUITS DO TO SMELL, DUST AND NOISE TO NAME A FEW.

c. HEALTH ISSUES THAT MIGHT ARISE WHEN HOMES ARE BUILT TOO CLOSE TO THE LANDFILL.

4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?


4.A YES, I DO. WILDLIFE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO OUR ECOLOGICAL AREA & WE MUST PRESERVE IT. THE FORESTED AREAS ARE NEEDED FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS OF ALL PEOPLE. WE ALL SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO AREAS AFTER A FOREST FIRE OR AFTER CLEAR CUTTING OR EVEN WORSE.

a. LANDSLIDES

b. NOTHING TO HOLD BACK FLOODING

c.THE AMBIANCE AND THE REASON WE LIVE HERE WILL DISAPPEAR.


5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A AT THIS POINT I CAN'T SAY YES OR NO. I WOULD HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT THE OCP WILL BRING FORWARD BEFORE I CAN MAKE A DECISION.

Julius Bloomfield


1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?


1.A. I am in favour of higher density within the existing footprint of the city. How that density is managed is for future OCP reviews. I have been a strong defender of existing farm land and I am a proponent of a robust food security programme. Growth comes with demographic change and there will be intense pressure for the next 20-30 years. After that the demographic trends suggest it may reverse.


2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A. The latest OCP removed a lot of land in the North East sector which covers Spiller Rd. The issue for city planners is that the Canadian Horizon Land is currently zoned, and has been for approx. 40 years. Changing the OCP for that land could be possible but having conflicting OCP and zoning on a property is a sign of a dysfunction within the system.


3.Q. Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?


3A The 500 metre setback is a suggested extension of the old 300 metre setback from a landfill. The 500 metre buffer was brought in as a recommendation whereas the 300 metre buffer is enforced. If the city enforces a setback that is not required by Provincial regulations then it may leave the city open to claims for compensation so that decision will need to be made with legal advice.


4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?


4.A. I am absolutely aware, I have witnessed the damage done by such developments and have been publicly critical of developers that have carried out that work.


5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?


5.A. What the RDOS and Electoral Area E do in their OCP has no jurisdiction on land within the city. As I said in my answer to question 2, changing the OCP for the Spiller Rd block of land could be possible but we must consider that the block has residential zoning and having conflicting OCP and zoning on a property is a sign of a dysfunction within the system.


Jason Reynen

1Q. What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?

1A. The downtown core needs to be examined with an eye to redevelopment and removing the old structures and building upwards. We are not limited to just looking to develop arable land if we examine the OCP and adjust it to our realities. We need accessible affordable housing in the downtown area, before moving outward to the current farmlands. 

2.Q. Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A. Yes, I would agree with a look at the OCP and potentially rezoning the area to reduce the number of developments in that area, our current infrastructure simply cannot support it. The OCP needs to reflect less density on that particular hillside because it is simply not realistically sustainable and visually terribly unappealing. Certain areas need to be looked for redevelopment before these developments are approved.

3.Q. Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback.  Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?

3.A. Yes, without a doubt! I would stand firmly on this recommendation for health reasons alone. Mayor and council are answerable to the well-being of the residents so we would be negligent in doing otherwise.

4.Q. Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?

No, I was not aware of this area and the impact, but I am familiar with the harmful effects of clearcutting in other areas.  There were devastating results of the Wiltse area development so I would assume similar negative impacts on Naramata Bench and be opposed to them. 

5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%.  Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A. Yes, 100%. I would like to see the area rezoned from a growth area to one that could accommodate low-density development with some extremely strict oversight to better manage the impacts and control for demands on infrastructure elements like sewer and traffic issues.

Council Candidates

James Miller

As you are likely aware, the Society for the Preservation of the Naramata Bench and many citizens and residents of Penticton and Naramata, the Penticton Indian Band, Interior Health and First Things First are strongly opposed to the development of the property at 1050 Spiller Road, and the gateway this will open up to further development of the hillsides to the north. The latest Canadian Horizon’s proposal had fewer lots, but the same concerns that defeated the previous and likely future applications remain – traffic issues, drainage concerns, environmental and fire concerns, urban sprawl, tourism and negative economic impacts, lack of affordable housing and changing the unique character of the Naramata Bench. 1. Q. What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?


1.A. Penticton, wherever appropriate, needs to grow up and not out. As implied in your question, the risks for hillside development - not to mention destroying the Bench's natural beauty - are far too many with little in tangible returns to the citizens of Penticton. There is still tons of available land for development within the OCP in the urban area, close to the downtown. I'd love to see the eyesore Three Gables lot eventually be turned into something that's not a gravel parking lot. My voting record as a councillor since July 2021 has been very firm on this. I also additionally voted against pulling land from the ALR to accommodate a small cluster of high-end homes. As we're seeing from escalating food prices at unprecedented levels how important it is to property manage agricultural land.

2. Q . Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A Perhaps. It would depend how far and long we are until the next one. The OCP needs to be done every 10 years. The OCP needs to be followed in its spirit and not certain lines cherry-picked and taken out of context by potential developers. If re-elected, I will advocate for a return to old-school-style of staff reports where pros and cons are both reported. At times, it seems as though staff reports are PR spin for the proponents.

3. Q. Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres? 3.A Yes, definitely.

4. Q. Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?

4.A. I am. There are rules, but then there's enforcement, or should I say, lack of enforcement. This is also an issue the Regional District should be looking at as it pertains to Apex Mountain.

5.Q. Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?


5.A. Yes, I would.

Katie Robinson

1. Q. What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?


1A Besides the geographic constraints which are obvious … The Agricultural Land Commission

( ALC ) also limits growth on our surrounding lands. That’s one of the main reasons that Penticton’s OCP clearly states that “we must make the most efficient use of the land & infrastructure we have available & protect the natural environment” ( OCP 3-43 ) not to mention a whole host of other recommendations, such as, not developing sites away from the urban centre, etc.


2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2A I would have no problem reviewing the OCP as it pertains to the Spiller Road Block, in fact a review has already been suggested in the near future once the election has concluded & the new Council is up & running.

3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres? setback


3A I believe I have already taken a firm stand as an RDOS Director in enforcing a 500 metre setback & will continue to do so if re-elected.


4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?

4.A Absolutely… It is imperative that this does not happen again. The pictures of the Naramata Vista development are particularly disturbing given the clear cutting that was allowed. It is interesting to note that Penticton’s newest subdivision up Wiltse, which was just approved, has committed to green spaces & keeping plenty of mature trees whenever possible within limits, and has gone as far to include greenery on all retaining walls necessary.


5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?


5.A I would support looking at bringing forward a “slow growth “initiative for the area during a review of the OCP. It would have to be determined (perhaps legally) just how far a Council can go given its privately owned land as opposed to city owned land. Suffice to say that I’ve been very vocal regarding my opposition to this development.

Isaac Gilbert


1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards, and farming; limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?


1.A. Penticton’s future growth must take into account preserving agricultural land, and the long-term costs of hillside developments. The priority for development in our city must be focused on creating diverse housing in our existing neighbourhoods with commercial services like grocery stores, clinics, and cafes. Hillside and suburban development in the outskirts must take into consideration arable land but also the financial burden to its citizens. The financial implications of the Spiller Road development is one of my main concerns. The Naramata bench provides Penticton and the valley economic sustainability and food security, this needs to be respected when having discussion about growth in our city.


2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?


2.A. I would support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to all hillside developments in the city boundary. My concerns with the Spiller Road development are the impact to Syilx reconciliation, environment, and financial burdens to the city and citizens. The Penticton Indian Band has made it clear that the Spiller Road development will affect their traditional resources, the four food chiefs, which are vital to their culture and food security. If we are to have true reconciliation with Syilx people, we must do our duty to consult and support their culture.

Forests play an important role in overcoming climate change and we must protect them all across our city, including in the Spiller Road area. We can negotiate protections that new developments in the hills replant and protect trees which sequester carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and aid our environment.

Developing in the hillsides and suburban neighbourhoods puts financial strain on cities. We are seeing this across the United States and Canada. Here is a videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nw6qyyrTeI from a Canadian living in the Netherlands, demonstrating how property taxes in suburbia (hillside developments) do not make enough to upkeep all the infrastructure (roads, sewers, electrical, etc) needed to support those types of neighbourhoods.

Reconciliation, environmental protection, and financial sustainability are my priorities running for city council and I am willing to amend, vote against, or review any hillside developments that do not address those priorities.


3.Q Interior Health, RDOS, and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?


3.A. Yes, I am willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the 500-metre setback to the landfill.


4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the ecosystem, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench hillside?


4.A. I’ve been made aware of some of the issues that have arisen in the area regarding erosion and “sliding” foundations when a new development was built closer to the village. I understand the severity of this and want to ensure this never happens with a project approved by the City of Penticton. As a BC Park Ranger I work everyday to oversee the protection of the ecosystems here in the Okanagan. Hillsides play a vital role in the movement of wildlife and provide safe corridors. We must protect as much as we can. Maintaining the natural ecosystems are also important for erosion control and the prevention of flooding.

5.Q Recently, Electoral Area E in the RDOS voted no to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A. I support reviewing the Spiller Road block as a means of growth for our city. I do not believe it will provide appropriate and affordable housing, which should be our priority. As stated above, I have concerns about the economic viability of the neighbourhood in the years to come. The OCP was a major consultation project for our city and it would not do it justice if we as councillors removed the Spiller Road block out of the growth plans without further consultation. I would be willing to bring it back to public consultation to review our growth plan for the city. Cities must look far into the future to ensure the projects championed will respect reconciliation with Syilx people, environmental protection, and economic sustainability.

Katie O’Kell

1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?

1.A Penticton is a land bridge surrounded by mountains. The amount of developable land here is extremely limited. We are further constricted by the ALR. Because of this, densifying the downtown core is our best option for creating more housing. Chopping down our forests is short-sighted and ecologically irresponsible.


2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A The current Spiller Road proposal is for over 100 million-dollar homes. This doesn’t serve the needs of Penticton residents, and decimates our forest and wildlife areas. Canada Horizons will find a way to get a return on their investments – I want to make sure that if we are chopping down our forests at least we are doing what is best for the residents of Penticton. That likely will mean a revision of the OCP.


3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?

3.A Yes. Living too close to a landfill has numerous health hazards. We need to keep the 500 metre setback. This setback can also double as a wildlife corridor.

4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?

4.A. I look at one of the clearcutting developments every day at work. This is completely irresponsible development. Culverts haven’t even been installed even though pipes are on site. We have a duty to protect not only our citizens but also the wildlife that lives so close to us. As a Biologist, looking at the scar on our forests every day is maddening to me.


5.Q. Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?


5.A. I participated in the Naramata OCP public engagement process, and I was glad that we voted no to hillside development. There are liabilities involved with blocking any development on the Spiller Road block now that it has already been purchased. I worry that the City may be too exposed in doing a revision that prohibits any buildings, much like Naramata was exposed with the Blackwell property. I support keeping our hillsides undeveloped on the Naramata Bench, but we also need to protect they City’s legal liabilities.

Campbell Watt

1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?

1.A. The limits to Penticton’s Growth are those outlined in the OCP and that of area.


2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A. I have already said exactly that. At our last meeting where Spiller Road was on the agenda I asked that staff evaluate and potentially amend our OCP to reflect public engagement feedback if the response is not in line with what is currently in the OCP. This is why public engagement and feedback is so important and I believe at the time of receiving the feedback on this project the vote was 6-1 in favor of accepting it so it could be part of a discussion moving forward in evaluating the potential need to adjust the OCP


3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?


3.A. I am consistent in my decision-making process where I have regularly relied on, and supported recommendations from experts and professionals. I am not an expert, nor pretend to be, so I look to those who specialize in a field to help me with direction and understanding before making a decision so their reports and thoughts would have an impact.

4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?


4.A. I have not yet seen a report on the extent of potential impacts on the area from experts in the field so no at this point I am not fully aware of the impact.

5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A. I would support any recommendation to adjust the OCP if it has gone through the proper process and supported by the residents of Penticton that I represent, this is why I asked for the document to become a more dynamic one.

Frank Regeher

1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?


1.A. Penticton’s OCP alludes to growth limits via its encouragement of valley bottom development rather than on hillsides. However, as Penticton’s population increases other questions may arise, generated by climate change factors, resulting in increased water restrictions while requiring an increased tree canopy. There may also be discussions about liveability and infrastructure sustainability arising from future growth.

2.Q. Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?


2.A. Given public opposition as well as the climate change issues that have arisen since the OCP was passed, I would support that review. Some bylaw changes (e.g. tree protection), may also be required.

3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?

3.A. I would support a requirement that any development would be setback 500m from the landfill, with public health and safety in mind. I am hopeful that improvements will be made at the landfill to reduce GHG’s and other odors.

4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?


4.A. Yes.


5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A. I would support pursuing that objective, subject to a fair and transparent process. Much has changed since this property was purchased by the current owner, including awareness and recognition of the following:

□ traditional First Nations cultural and ceremonial uses of part of that land;

□ wildlife values.

□ climate change risks such as heavy spring rains and the related potential for excessive and unpredictable stormwater drainage;

□ impacts on tourism and aesthetic values; and

□ the potential long term health risks which may arise from living in close proximity to a landfill.

Shannon Stewart

1Q. What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?

1A. We are obviously faced with a significant housing deficit, particularly those affordable units needed to house our seniors, young people, and young families. This development, however, will not successfully address this concern. Conversely, I think it will create more challenges and limit the City of Penticton in terms of possible future developments to address these needs because it will tax our infrastructure, create negative impacts on the environment and put much of our arable land in jeopardy.

2Q. Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2A. I have advocated for a necessary review of the OCP in order to ensure it is actually reflective of our community and its immediate and long-term needs. I find it offensive that our current council has appeared to disregard the document in order to support decisions that are not in keeping with its recommendations. A strong consultative approach with all key stakeholders is mandatory in the development of such an important document to ensure that it has a broad perspective and incorporates long-range needs, as well as allows for the recognition of possible outcomes. An OCP must be a document that is respectfully applied and adhered to, and unfortunately, our current version is neither.

3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?

3.A. Absolutely, I have no problem supporting this expectation. As an Interior Health employee, and a healthcare social worker I am very familiar with the processes engaged in assessing and evaluating risks, and I have the utmost confidence in these organizations having done their due diligence to develop appropriate recommendations that act on behalf of the majority to ensure safety.

4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?

4.A. While not intimately familiar with these impacts on this specific location, my background includes direct experience and knowledge about the logging industry and the negative effects on the northern interior of our province from clearcutting practices. I have been involved in advocacy for other locations to incorporate limitations or to elect other logging practices like high-lead logging in order to address the concerns and limit the overall negative impacts to the environment, to the local infrastructure and to the future populations.


5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5A. I feel that many of the recent decisions by our current mayor and council have been less than transparent. The opportunities for consultation and information gathering have been neglected or overlooked. In addition, when the appropriate information has been collected, it does not appear to be foundational in many of the decisions reached. This is concerning on many levels, and we can see evidence of the distrust, disrespect and growing discontent of our community members as a result. As stated above, I support a thorough review of the current OCP in order to ensure adequate and fair representation of all individuals is reflected within it. If this process results in the decision for removal of Spiller Road, then, of course, I would support that as it would be an accurate reflection of the people being most directly impacted.

Wayne Llewellyn

After being asked by the media, as well as one private individual my position on any future application, it occurred to me to share my reply to them with you.

We will have to wait until new plans, if any, are submitted. Until then, the tireless work of citizens to create the vision for the 2019 OCP, identify efficient land uses and infrastructure and environmental protection should be respected.

Let’s manage growth according to our Official Community Plan and not overload existing infrastructure. When you build too densely, manhole covers get blown off storm sewers during storms, costly unplanned changes to traffic patterns are needed to alleviate congestion and so on.

Let’s commit to avoiding environmentally sensitive areas, be certain of no geologic and flood hazards on steep slopes and so forth.


1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?


1.A. Food security is an issue raised by another interest group. In regard to growth limits, I raised the matter of density targets/limits in 2018 with the planners during the OCP development and never got an answer.

2.Q. Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A. In my mind, if there is an application made to amend the OCP, Council has an obligation to consider it after an appropriate investigation and report by staff. If there isn’t a similar process for private citizen groups to also make application for amendments between OCP updates, we should have one.

3.Q. Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?


3.A It’s important to get input from all stakeholders and advisors when considering planning applications, particularly when it involves amending major public policies like the OCP.


4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?


4.A Yes. From what I have heard and read there is considerable geo-technical concerns in areas further north that have never really been addressed. If I remember correctly, several private properties and portions of the KVR trail were damaged by spring run-off a few years ago.


5.Q. Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A One of my three major goals is that we must govern the city in accordance with the OCP. The OCP is an expression of the community’s values and vision and defines the goals and policies, land use designations and other guidelines to reach that vision. While we must always be open to change, given the extensive community consultation process to create an OCP, developers should be required to fit into the plans for our community rather than changing the community’s plan to fit one-off projects.


Lindsey Hall


1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?

1.A I’m an engineer. For years I have repeatedly asked if anyone has determined what population our water supply and electricity grid can support in Penticton. Of course, this would also need to include crop irrigation requirements. It seems no one knows. I feel we need to conduct an impact assessment before considering any newer housing developments in Penticton.

2.Q. Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A It is my opinion that the democratic process has spoken to this issue and it should be laid to rest for many years, rather than continually readdress it with amendments. Since I moved to Penticton 21 years ago, a lot of time and money has been spent on developing and revising the Official Community Plan, yet each successive council arbitrarily ignores it for their immediate desires. We need to use the OCP as the primary resource when considering changes to our infrastructure and stick to it. There are at least two young people running for council now who, I am convinced, will promote the Spiller Road development if elected. The two I refer to are close friends and they nominated each other. One of them lives on Spiller Road and was nominated by Gil and David Szabo. The Szabos have continually lobbied for the Spiller Road development; perhaps because they own land there. You can investigate nomination documents here: https://www.penticton.ca/city-hall/elections-0

3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?

3.A If these three bodies determined a 500 metre setback from the dump, that’s how it should remain. it’s not council’s responsibility to arbitrarily change that discretion and adopt liability for the city well into the future. The landfill shifts over time as buried waste decays. A recent incident on Creekside Road shows how our city can be liable for land shifts long after a development is completed.

4. Q. Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?

4.A I am aware of the runoff problems. I have ridden dirt bike up the east hillsides and logging roads and experienced the washouts caused by changes to the landscape. Selective tree harvesting should have become the standard long ago. Reforestation in our immediate region appears lame or nonexistent, too.


When I grew up in Winnipeg, every child in school was given spruce seedlings to take home and plant.


Many years ago I envisioned a method for reforestation that minimizes labour. Seedlings planted in ceramic cups are dropped over an area from cargo aircraft. The ceramic cups shatter while embedding the seedlings in the soil. In recent years I learned a similar method is already being used in parts of Asia.

5. Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A As I replied in question 2, it is my opinion that the democratic process has spoken to this issue and it should be laid to rest for many years, rather than continually readdress it with amendments. I will always support the will of the majority in our community.

Larry Schwartzenberger


Good Morning,


While I agree with many of the issues you raise in your email, this is a complicated issue. Spiller Road is not protected by the ALR as agricultural use only nor is it the first time residential development has occurred on the Naramata Bench as the RDOS has allowed significant residential development in the Arawana Road area.


Council has rightly turned down 2 development proposals that required variances and/or zoning & OCP designation changes. If Council were to change the zoning or OCP designation on only this location, it could lead to a legal challenge by Canadian Horizons.

Penticton’s growth is limited by two lakes, PIB lands and ALR lands. The OCP gives guidelines for potential development to the highest and best use for all areas. All guiding documents should be reviewed by Council on a regular basis. I would support an OCP review within the upcoming term of Council as long as it was a comprehensive review that meets the needs of the community as a whole.

Helena Konanz

1Q. What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?


1A .It's difficult to know what the limitations to growth are in Penticton when we are in such a crisis with housing. Looking at supply and demand, the cost of housing will only go up if we don’t build housing for all economic levels.


2Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Roadblock?


2A. We should be reviewing our OCP at least every 5 years. This last OCP took over 2 years and involved hundreds of people. There is also the fact that the city grew at a much faster rate than anticipated, 9% since the last census, which has also driven up the demand and prices for housing. Because of this the I believe the Penticton OCP should come up for review even sooner than had originally been suggested.


3Q. Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?


3A. I will take these suggestions into consideration.

I hope Interior Health starts considering the multitude of suggestions council has and will be asking of them.


4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage, and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?


4.A. I attempted to read the reports that were submitted from both sides of the debate during Canadian Horizons last proposal.

5Q. Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5A. I would support a review of the OCP with input from a wide range of Penticton residents.

Note: Konanz was on Council during the Skaha Park waterslide controversy. https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/242167/Plaque-for-waterslide-fiasco-

Andrew Jakubeit

1Q. What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?

1.A. We are limited by the two lakes, Penticton Indian Band on one side, mountains on the other plus height restrictions because the of the proximity to the airport. The focus for densification needs to surround the village nodes Wal-Mart, Cherry Lane, Safeway, downtown and northern gateway as it is very walkable to green spaces, transit, shops and services. We need diversity of housing options and spreading to the hillside is inevitable. The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is in place to protect farming and food production and is a provincial decision.

2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?

2.A. There was considerable discussion and process in recently updating the OCP (which hadn’t been updated for 10+ years); however it is also a living document and subject to the potential of revisions or updates. While I personally would be opposed to the idea of not allowing any housing in that area, I would be open to trying to find some balance to allow for housing while still maintaining some of the character of the Naramata Bench.

3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?

3A. Yes…there already has been some leaching of contaminants into the soil and remediation did take place; however whatever is built there must endure 50+ years and we don’t know how climate change and/or other factors will change what is discharged in the soil around the landfill.

4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?

4.A. Yes…mudslides and slope destabilization are real concerns. Two major concerns for me for whatever gets proposed there would be the engineering report/recommendations and the landscape plan (there would need to be greenery and trees instead of just rocks and/or retaining walls.

5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5A. The way you word it in your question implies that there would be NO development whatsoever…so I can’t support that. It seems that some people in Penticton think that we should close the gates and not allow anyone else in or to move here…that is not realistic or practical. Growth and development needs to happen for our community to flourish and have the ability to pay for all the services citizens expect. I am open to revising the allowable density of what can be developed there.

Note: Jakubeit was Mayor during the Skaha Park waterslide controversy. https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/242167/Plaque-for-waterslide-fiasco-

Amelia Boultbee


1.Q What limits do you feel there are to Penticton’s growth? Consider the availability of arable land for the production of grapes, orchards and farming; the limits and seasonality of the tourist trade; and the impact these constraints may have on growth?

1.A Penticton has a land constraint due to its geographical location. Two lakes and mountains on both sides. ALR land located throughout the city. It makes it very challenging to balance all the needs of a growing city while protecting and preserving our agricultural roots. I support ensuring that all agricultural land within the ALR should be protected, supported and enhanced for food production.


Development should be focused on lands outside the ALR and ideally close to downtown. At the same time, we need to ensure that as a city we are offering a range of housing types and in various locations. We cannot assume that everyone is able to live in a condo downtown or a townhouse somewhere.

The ALR and agriculture in the city is very important to the region, is a scarce resource, and is key to ensuring food production. By way of example, I opposed the biosolids RDOS project which sought to remove a significant amount of land from the ALR across from the dump, for the very same reason.

2.Q Given that Penticton’s Official Public Engagement has shown such overwhelming opposition to the last development proposal by Canadian Horizons, would you support a motion to review the OCP as it pertains to hillside development in the Spiller Road Block?


2.A This part of the city has been studied for decades and the results are reflective in the approved OCP. However, the OCP is a living document- there was a significant effort put into its creation from the community and city hall over several years. I am sure there are several areas and policies that require review and amendment. I will remain open to new information and guidance from city staff with respect to amending the OCP.

3.Q Interior Health, RDOS and the Provincial Government have all agreed that the Campbell Mountain Landfill should have a minimum 500-metre setback to any and all future development, yet Canadian Horizons have repeatedly asked for a 300-metre setback. Are you willing to take a firm commitment to enforce the setback of 500-metres?


3.A. This is not completely accurate. The requirements from the provincial government and Ministry of Environment for an active and existing landfill is 300 meters. That is why the OCP states 300 meters. The RDOS desire is to have the setback be 500 meters but without any compensation to landowners impacted by this change. I am sure anyone that is within this area between 300 and 500m has concerns with this blanked approach and request by RDOS. Perhaps the better way forward is to review the operations of the landfill and ensure RDOS is doing everything they should be and can be to limit the negative impacts of a landfill on a hillside.

I have always been transparent about where I live- my family owns a property bordering the proposed Canadian Horizons Development.


What I can say, is that if the concern as it relates between 300-500 meters, this is a relatively small matter. I have heard many concerns about the smell from the dump, katabatic winds, and all manner of concern about how the new landowners will sue the city for nuisance. I live 514 meters from the dump and I regularly walk my dog down Reservoir Road. Only on the hottest days and with the wind in a very particular direction, do I notice the smell of the dump. I never notice it from my home, 514 meters away, but yes, running directly by it, there is a smell.


I feel that we need more information on what the appropriate buffer is to this landfill. Ideally we continue to work with our partners at RDOS and try to ultimately relocate the landfill away from the lake. Eventually there are going to be larger issues than expanding a buffer if the leachate continues to make its way down the mountain and into our beautiful Okanagan Lake.


4.Q Are you aware of the significant impact that development and clearcutting has had on the eco-systems, wildlife, drainage and flooding from almost all new developments on the Naramata Bench Hillsides?


4.A. Any alteration of the natural landscape has impacts on ecosystems, wildlife, and drainage. This includes agricultural operations and commercial wineries that we all enjoy. We have to acknowledge that all human activities, be it building of a house or installing elk fences to protect our commercial wineries results in impacts to the natural environment and ecosystems. We cannot pick and choose what is impactful and what is not unfortunately. They all are. I believe the right thing to do as humanity getting the benefit of living and working in this beautiful part of the world is to balance our needs as a society as a whole- not just for people that already have their piece of land to call their own. We should make every attempt to balance the impact on the environment and our housing needs as a community so we can have a dynamic and growing city for everyone.


5.Q Recently, Electoral area E (Naramata and area) in the RDOS voted No to hillside development in their OCP review. In the recent public engagement process for Spiller Road, 54% of participants were against any hillside development but when the actual proposal by Canadian Horizon’s Spiller Road development is considered in isolation, the percentage opposed to the proposal as submitted rose to almost 80%. Would you support removing the Spiller Road Block as a growth area in the OCP?

5.A This is a very sensitive question. Every private landowner has property rights and we do not want to head down the road where the city is exposing itself to expensive lawsuits. At this time, the landowner has zoning and can and apparently will proceed with the zoning it has. Amending the OCP after many years of investment by this private landowner is potentially actionable, to say nothing of whether the OCP actually should be amended in this fashion.


I was a vocal supporter of a previous version of the Spiller Road proposal for many reasons, some of which include concessions from Canadian Horizons and the ability to bring city water up Campbell Mountain. We have dump fires and house fires up here with some regularity, and the fact that there are no fire hydrants is a huge fire issue.

If there is an uncontrolled fire of any kind up here, it won’t just be our houses that burn down.

I retracted my support for the latest version proposed by Canadian Horizons, because I felt that using Reservoir Road as the main egress was unsafe. That road is already in bad shape, it has no lights, no lines, it is very narrow.

I am not going to support a development there no matter what- but I do believe that change is inevitable, new neighbors are inevitable. Penticton is a very desirable place for families and professionals to want to call home. We need to protect our agricultural land and economy while at the same time, be able to provide the much needed attainable and affordable housing the city needs as it grows.

Note: Boultbee’s nomination forms were signed by Gil and David Szabo, a local realtor and his brother who own land next to Canadian Horizons and have considerable financial gain should the city bring the infrastructure to 1050 Spiller Road.


Despite several attempts we were unable to collect answers from the following folks. If we get any more responses, we will update this information:


Ryan Graham

Nick Kruger

Davider Sandhu


Additional comments from candidates on spiller road in Penticton Herald can be found here: https://www.pentictonherald.ca/news/article_215a7ff4-404a-11ed-a7a5-93998d963f33.html

Information for Voters

Advance voting for the 2022 Local Government Election will take place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the following dates at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, 273 Power Street:

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2022

  • Saturday, October 8, 2022

  • Thursday, October 13, 2022​

General Voting day is Saturday, October 15, 2022 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, 273 Power Street or at the Seniors’ Drop-In Centre, 2965 South Main Street.

Please note that the Seniors’ Drop-In Centre is a smaller venue and there may be line ups.


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