March 23, 2015 - 7:30 PM
WEST KELOWNA - Westside residents could soon see a sight their Kelowna counterparts have seen for quite a few years — carriage houses popping up on lots where one house already exists.
The latest results are in from the district’s extensive public consultation on the subject and three-quarters of West Kelowna people feel carriage houses should be allowed. That number comes from an online survey of 350 West Kelowna residents, some 85 per cent of whom live and own property there.
Drilling down, 70 per cent of respondents feel carriage houses are appropriate in urban areas and 60 per cent agree that 550 square metres should be the minimum lot size.
Carriage houses and the RU6 zoning that allows them were introduced to Kelowna well over 10 years ago as a way to increase density and discourage monster houses without greatly changing the character of neighbourhoods. In Kelowna, carriage houses are restricted by formula to be smaller than the principal dwelling. They are not given separate title. They were not without controversy, either, as some home-owners rushed to build the biggest carriage house they could, often using development variances. Some residents were upset to find large houses looming over their neighbour’s side fence.
West Kelowna conducted an extensive public consultation, using a variety of methods to gauge public support including mass mail outs, town hall meetings, social media and more traditional advertising such as brochures which were handed out at Winterfest and some Westside Warriors hockey games.
Should council agree to move ahead, there will still be another opportunity for residents to voice their opinion as the proposal would require a public hearing to become law.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015