Sage Mesa

Keep Westbench Elementary Open!

As you may know, a group of West Bench residents has created a group to advocate to keep West Bench Elementary School open.  They have a Facebook page here.

Also, there is a public meeting on December 1st at 7 PM.

My original posting on this topic can be found here.

Update 03 Dec 2015:

A good turnout at the meeting.



Sage Mesa/Husula Gas Main Opt-In Model

As noted previously, response to the proposal to extend the Fortis gas main into the Sage Mesa and Husula neighborhoods has been mixed.  What we are seeing in our informal straw poll and other feedback is residents with very high electrical costs who want access to natural gas and other residents who are happy with the status quo.  This is especially so in Sage Mesa, where many of the houses do not have ducts.  Such a split in opinion is problematic given the RDOS’s preferred approach, which is to make the decision on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.


November 2015: Sage Mesa/Husula natural gas udpate

Just a few updates on this topic:

  1. The public meeting was held on October 22, 2015
  2. Initial responses to the straw poll are trickling in.  The general trends are:
    1. Husula Highlands: Low response rate; trending in favor of gas main extension
    2. Sage Mesa: Medium response rate; trending opposed to gas main extension
  3. You are encouraged to contact RDOS Public Works Manager Roger Huston to have your straw poll vote tallied, make comments, or ask questions.
  4. A link to the Fortis energy saving calculator.
  5. I have added some updates to the main thread on this topic.
  6. It is clear from the mixed response that we will have to do a more formal mail survey prior to making any decision on this.  We will wait a bit for this in order to give people time to gather more information and pose any questions they may have.

West Bench Elementary closure potential

I attended (most of) the School District 67 meeting last night on school closures.  The student enrollment projections for West Bench Elementary (click image on the left for a larger version) paint a very pessimistic picture.

Husula and Sage Mesa gas line: information meeting


Proposed Natural Gas Line for
Sage Mesa and Husula Highlands Properties (see previous posting on the topic)

Thursday, October 22, 2015 at
West Bench Elementary School Library
7 pm to 8:30 pm

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and FortisBC will be hosting an information meeting for Sage Mesa and Husula Highland residents to gauge public interest in the possibility of installing a natural gas main to Sage Mesa and Husula Highlands properties.  FortisBC and RDOS representatives will be in attendance to discuss the proposed gas main project, energy efficiency savings and implications for homeowners. 

Update 22 October, 2015: My slides for the meeting are below:


Automobile traffic along the KVR

I have received a number of complaints about automobile traffic on the KVR behind Sage Mesa and heading north.  It might be good fun for some people but I think it is safe to say that driving out to bush parties on the KVR is not a good idea, especially in our precarious fire situation.

Access is apparently through the road to Pine Hill golf. map

Be wary of holes on the KVR Trail

Dear Editor:

Warning to users of the KVR Trail on the West Bench, Penticton.

There are several washouts on the trail. Users could fall into the holes and get injured.

One of the holes is partially covered by grasses and weeds, therefore hard to see.

Hikers, bikers, horse riders, please take extra care to watch for the holes and avoid them.

The holes in the trails are caused by water running down the track during rain storms, the water building up to a volume large enough to erode and wash away the trail bed.

Sign for the West Bench

The idea arose a couple of years ago to install a sign at the bottom of West Bench Hill Road.  As I see it, the sign could serve three purposes:

  1. Commemorate the establishment of the West Bench as a Veterans' Land Act project.  In this sense, it is Part B of the Selby Park tribute.
  2. Mark the starting point of the walking path.
  3. Better establish the idea of the West Bench (broadly defined to include Sage Mesa, Husula Highlands, etc.) as a place distinct from Penticton.


Given these objectives, we have been toying with a few potential designs.  Below is a photo of the West Bench Hill Road as now seen by traffic heading to Kelowna on Highway 97 (see note 1):

3861 Solana Crescent Development Variance Permit Application

Board date: 
Thursday, February 19, 2015

We have seen this project during rezoning.  Now the owner is seeking a variance in the setback from the road in order to situate the garage on the lot.  This motion was to send the application to the Area F Advisory Planning Commission (APC).  It will then come back to the board for first reading.  The is the community input stage, so feel free to contact me if you would like to weigh in on this one.

Natural gas for Sage Mesa and Husula

Just a heads-up: A resident from Sage Mesa asked me to look into natural gas service for that neighborhood.  His understanding is that the economics are not quite good enough for Fortis to invest in the infrastructure that is required.  Although a gas pipeline runs through Sage Mesa, a reducing station (the photo is of a Russian reducing station) is apparently required (update: a reducing station is not required).  Fortis told him they would run natural gas service to his house if he paid for the reducing station.