West Kelowna winery to revamp expansion
Plans for a controversial new restaurant and lounge on farmland were abruptly withdrawn during a West Kelowna council meeting this week.
Owners of the Mount Boucherie Winery said they didn’t want to address council on the matter and would instead be willing to revise the building plans.
Municipal planners had recommended council not approve a new 25,000-square-foot, three-level building at 829 Douglas Rd.
Several councillors had spoken against the project, describing it as too large and not beneficial to agriculture, when the owners withdrew their application.
The revised plans will be considered at a future council meeting.
“Perhaps scale it down, a little more quaintness as opposed to monstrosity,” said Coun. Rick de Jong.
The large restaurant that was proposed “didn’t have anything to do with winemaking, other than the tasting,” said Coun. Bryden Winsby.
Although West Kelowna promotes Boucherie Road as the city’s wine route, flanked as it is by wineries, most of which have restaurants and lounges, Coun. Carol Zanon said the proposal at hand was simply too large.
“What we want to see along the wine route is not what is being expressed in this application,” Zanon said. “At first blush, I found this opportunistic.”
The property is within the Agricultural Land Reserve, and the province allows wineries to operate food and beverage establishments under some conditions. However, the one proposed by Mount Boucherie Winery owners exceeded permitted size limits, so council’s approval for a non-farm use was required.
Before the item was withdrawn, Coun. Rusty Ensign was the only council member to express support for the proposed restaurant and lounge.
“What was the wine route built for in the first place?” Ensign asked. “If they’re willing to invest this kind of money in our community, we should be embracing it.”
This is the proposed look of a winery expansion that City of West Kelowna planners said should not be approved.The winery’s owners now say they will revise the plans.