December 04, 2012 - 5:12 PM
For the second time this year, Kelowna city councillors turned down a developers bid to build the controversial Monaco project, a large development proposed for the corner of Doyle Avenue and St. Paul Street.
Still, developers were encouraged to review the twin-towered project in order to keep it within required guidelines.
The problem with the project is lack of separation between the towers, councillors said in their regular meeting Monday. Premier Pacific Group, whose initial proposal in the spring called for the towers, one 22 storeys and one 26 storeys, to be 9.29 metres apart. The new design calls for the towers 22 and 30 storeys in height. Separation in the new plan is 19.6 metres, with an 822 square-metre footprint.
The smaller tower would be a 128-suite hotel. The taller tower would have 161 condo suites. The Official Community Plan's requirement is 36 metres separation for a building that exceeds 26 storeys and a footprint of 697 square metres. Councillors said they could live with the increased size of the larger tower, but only if it were less bulky.
"I struggle with the footprint," Coun. Andre Blanleil said.
Coun. Robert Hobson said the project has its exciting aspects, but that the proposed separation between the towers is unacceptable. He said he is not worried about the height of the project.
"I just feel that to go to a separation that is 17.9 less metres than we require as the minimum separation and then bulk up one of the towers that also doesn't meet the size is kind of a log in the eye," he said. "Really, in my mind this is quite a stretch from where the plan ended up. I love the project. I'd love to see the project move ahead, but I do think you have to work within the guidelines."
While councillors rejected the current plan, they also were in favour of the project in theory. They encouraged the developer to alter some details and come back to council for further review.
"I really want to see this project go, too," Blanleil said. "I still think it needs more work. I still think it's a viable project. But we have these guidelines."
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012