An 850-home development in the upper Wiltse area may soon be underway after Penticton city council gave its blessing Tuesday to begin preliminary work on a water supply.
Councillors agreed unanimously to move forward with a Crown land tenure application.
The application is needed in order to run a water line from the Carmi water reservoir over to the Wiltse area in order to support a large development on two blocks of empty land.
A detailed land-use plan adopted in the 2014 Official Community Plan noted the two blocks as a prime area for a large development. The south block, which can accommodate approximately 180 homes, has development slated for this year.
But with a lack of available water, explained planning manager Blake Laven, the land is only able to support 40 homes and no further work can be completed until a reservoir is built.
The cost to build a reservoir and run a connecting line is pegged at $4.6 million, which will fall on the developer to pay, along with the fee to apply for tenure. The infrastructure will eventually be handed over to the city.
Laven said the line will need to run through two privately owned lots within the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen, across Ellis Creek and through Crown land.
The trench in which the water line is contained will also be available for other utilities such as power and sewer.