July 22, 2015 - 4:30 PM
PENTICTON - Plans to construct three residential towers and a hotel in the city’s south end continue to move forward after receiving the first set of approvals for a zoning change earlier this week.
The development is proposed for a 2.5-acre portion of the property at 3388 Skaha Lake Rd. that was the former location of a waterslide and RV park. Plans call for the construction of three residential towers to be built in three phases. Phase one involves development of an 84-unit, 14-storey tower on the northwest corner of the property, followed by a parkade and a 12-storey tower in the second phase. A third tower would be constructed on the east portion of the property in phase three.
A second 1.1-acre portion of the property would serve as a construction staging ground, and eventually be the site developed into a hotel.
The development has already begun with the recent completion of a corner business mall that includes a pizza shop, bistro and convenience store.
A major upgrade to the sewer line serving the site is needed in order to accommodate the new housing units, an upgrade estimated at $550,000.
City Planning Manager Blake Laven says there are several potential ways the line upgrade could be paid for, noting the sewer system in the area is already considered deficient. Laven says some of the work may be done as part of a city capital project, through development cost charges, or by having the developer front the cost of the upgrade with the city contributing back at a later date. He suggests staff be asked to prepare a report in regard to excess or extended service for sewer lines.
The property is already in an area designated as an urban village by the Official Community Plan, making it favourable for application of high density zoning.
A staff report to council indicates the project will also 'add valuable units to the city’s housing stock supporting housing affordability in Penticton.'
At the meeting this week council expressed concerns about how the sewer upgrade would be funded, and questioned whether the real estate market could handle the number of new units proposed, but agreed to first reading of the changes to the Official Community Plan. The proposal goes to public hearing Aug. 4.
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