July 04, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KELOWNA - City planning staff would rather let a downtown business continue to operate against its zoning than have another empty building sitting on one of the major access points to downtown Kelowna.
They are recommending a three-year extension to temporary use permit for Kelowna Motors Ltd., which owns the property at the corner of Water Street and Leon Avenue.
“The proposed extension… is a means to facilitate the continued automotive use operation on the parcel and avoid having unoccupied buildings at a primary entrace to the downtown urban centre,” writes planner Lydia Korolchuk, in a report to council.
Its use as an automotive repair shop is not allowed under the current zoning for the area and also runs counter to long-range goals under the official community plan, Korolchuk writes.
Ironically, the site has been under almost continuous use as an automotive repair shop of some kind since 1949, but lost that status in 2008 when the building was vacated in anticipation of possible sale. The site is made up of five smaller parcels, with two fronting on Water Street and three more on Leon Avenue.
Sale of the property did not go through and the owner installed another tenant, whose business did conform to the zoning. However, the business went under and the original tenant, Boyds Automotive, resumed business onsite, with the consent of the city, under a temporary use permit.
Under its terms, no permanent zoning change is possible and no additions or expansions can be made to the existing buildings. Staff are also recommending no further extensions to the temporary use permit when it expires in July, 2019.
Kelowna city counciil will consider the permit extension at is regular council meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 at Kelowna City Hall.
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