April 25, 2014 - 12:13 PM
PENTICTON — City council decided new designs were needed for a proposed apartment development on Scott Avenue after hearing residents' concerns during an earlier public hearing.
It's been two years since the project was first proposed to council in 2012. The applicant, Singla Brothers Holding Ltd. wants to build a four-storey apartment building on a lot that is too small, councillors and neighbours said.
The proposed lot at 273 Scott Avenue is currently zoned for a duplex, so there would be no problem building a duplex on the site. However, the applicant is asking for a zoning change so an apartment building can be built there.
Right now, there is a rental home on the property, and the whole lot is an eyesore according to residents. Cars, boats and lots of junk are left out on the lawn and all over the property, creating a huge, ugly mess, said Don Maundrell, a nearby home owner.
Several residents of Scott Avenue, including Maundrell came forward and said they are not against development, the proposed design is just too big for the lot.
Maundrell said, he was at the public hearing in 2012 when council advised the applicant to come back with a plan that fits the lot because earlier designs were also too big.
“This has absolutely not been achieved,” Maundrell said.
His property on Argyle Street borders the proposed lot and with the proposed dimensions, he will be able to touch the building without leaving his backyard.
“Basically, I feel I’m going to provide their green space,” he said.
Residents expressed their concerns for other issues pertaining to the development, the biggest being safety.
They said there is a lot of traffic on the street, which is very narrow and full of parked cars, and there isn’t enough sidewalk space for pedestrians.
One woman asked what will happen when another 16 families are added to the street when the apartment is built.
During the council meeting, councillors debated whether the plan should be postponed or completely abandoned completely.
“It’s time to give the residents of this neighborhood a break,” Coun. Katie Robinson said.
There is a mix of housing on the street, including duplexes, single-family homes and apartment buildings.
“I don’t think all the infilling needs to be done on one street,” she said.
Coun. Judy Sentes praised the architect for his designs but said, ultimately, it’s not the right design for that lot, though she didn’t want to give up on the project completely.
“You’d have to tweak it in half,” she said about making changes to the size of the building.
In the end, council sent the plan back to the applicant to revise. They'll come back once they create a design to fit the lot space.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014