Kevin Bennett is running for a seat on District of Peachland council. (Photo/Kevin Bennett)

Peachland Votes 2022: Kevin Bennett

Black Press Media is asking municipal election candidates their thoughts on various community issues

Black Press Media is reaching out to all candidates running for Peachland council in the 2022 municipal election, asking them for their response to three specific issues in their community, as well as a fun question. Responses will be published in the order they are received.

Kevin Bennett – Council candidate

If elected, how do you think council should manage growth and development in the district?

Peachland has suffered from underinvestment for too long. We need affordable homes for working families, job and business opportunities, and improved infrastructure such as sewers, sidewalks, and neighborhood play areas.

To pay for these things we need an “economic engine” – a method of generating tax income for the town without raising taxes on existing homes. With higher tax revenues we can afford to build the things we need. The downtown core is that “engine”, and we have a golden opportunity to redevelop it.

Imagine a vibrant downtown, alive with families, shopping, restaurants, artisans, music, and waterfront

recreation! Imagine the Peachland we deserve to have!

In your view, what is councils’ responsibility in helping to provide attainable, affordable housing for

Peachland residents?

Our children and grandchildren should be able to grow up in affordable homes, in safe neighbourhoods with plenty of green space, just as we did. The downtown area would be an excellent location for families, just steps from the beach, close to everything, and easy to build on. Council’s responsibility is to attract world-class developers and work with them to build the community we want.

What steps do you think council could take to address traffic flows on Highway 97 as well as road

infrastructure in Peachland?

A stopgap solution is a speed limit reduction starting at Drought Hill and ending at Princeton Avenue. A mid-term

solution is to remodel the South Buchanan and the Trepanier road intersections, to create a four-way intersection with traffic lights or a roundabout. The ideal is to have the highway bypass Peachland altogether, and an “out-of-the-box” idea suggested to me is to build a highway from Penticton to Kelowna, via Chute Lake, avoiding Summerland, Peachland, Westbank and a second bridge altogether. Within Peachland, we need sidewalks on key roads like Princeton and Trepanier so that it is safe for pedestrians.

Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?

My amazing neighbor, Jane Tench. She is the most positive person I know, willing always to help those in need.

She has a kind word for everyone and spreads messages of good cheer every morning on the Peachland Neighbours’ Facebook page. She helps at the food bank, the Rotary, raises funds for Ukrainian refugees and in every way, she is an asset and a delight to be around. Thank you, Jane!

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