Experimental affordable housing in Kelowna could mix industrial with residential

An artist's rendering of a proposed development which mixes light industrial uses and residential housing.
Image Credit: Contributed

KELOWNA - City planners want to see how mixing residential housing with light industrial will work out as an affordable housing option with a new development near College Heights in Kelowna.

They are recommending council create the CD25 light industrial and residential mixed use zone in support of an application by Watermark Ventures Ltd. for a complex containing nine residential and nine industrial units.

In recognition the new development is experimential, staff is also recommending a moratorium on further mixed use developments until a year after this one opens, to give time for an evaluation.

“The founding principles of zoning and planning were to separate incompatible uses such as polluting industrial uses and residential uses,” writes planner Adam Cseke, in his report, pointing to a similar development in Vancovuer’s Strathcona area.

With an eye to creating affordable housing, Cseke says the inevitable friction between industrial and residential can be controlled through strata bylaws limiting the hour of operation for the industrial units.

The type of business that will be able to buy into the complex is limited and forbids recycling depots, automotive repair shops, bulk fuel depots and gas bars, while encouraging uses like industrial high tech research, commercial storage, equipment rentals, product design and custom indoor manufacturing.

Parking and lighting conflicts can be mitigated through zoning regulations and development permit guidelines. The units will all have separate entrances.

Cseke says the residential units are likely to attract buyers and tenants who want to live near their shop or work space but there will be no limitations on who can occupy the units.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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