Osoyoos planning director Alain Cunningham passed away peacefully on Friday after a short illness, according to town officials. (Submitted photo)

Osoyoos planning director dies peacefully

Alain Cunningham, a township employee for 13 years, died Friday after a short illness

Osoyoos’s planning director Alain Cunningham has passed away, according to city officials.

An employee of the township for 13 years, Cunningham reportedly died peacefully Friday, with his wife Jill at his side.

“He provided policy recommendations and planning management in the period of time that the community had experienced its largest growth and development,” CAO Barry Romanko said in a statement published on the town’s website.

“His passion for planning was displayed in his doctorate level academic background and carried out in contemporary research and report writing that left council or the CAO with few questions when it came to make decisions.”

Although Cunningham didn’t always agree with councillors, other staffers and developers, Romanko noted that he “had the best interests of the community at heart.”

“His position was supported by the most contemporary planning theory. He challenged all his colleagues to be the best they could be,” Romanko wrote.

Romanko added that Cunningham worked more broadly than just planning matters, with “exceptional” project management skills.

“His most recent successes included working on the fire hall project, implementation of the Meadowlark subdivision, research and development of the Affordable Housing Policy and ‘near-market’ housing program,” Romanko noted.

“Alain’s planning legacy will live on in the implementation of Southeast Meadowlark Plan he was able to broker with the Agricultural Land Commission that ensured future lands for residential development and community growth.”

Outside of his work, Romanko noted that Cunningham was a “very private man” who worked on his farm outside Rock Creek, where he supported his wife to support rescue animals.

“He enjoyed the quiet moments of a cup of tea on his deck looking out on the valley, reading his planning books or sharing conversations with (his) wife Jill. Alain will be missed at the management table and by this community,” Romanko said.

“On behalf of all staff, I offer my condolences to his wife Jill. May he rest in peace.”