January 27, 2016 - 7:30 PM
KELOWNA - With house prices going up and vacancy rates in Kelowna hovering near historic lows, it appears to be time to explore the idea of small lot duplexes.
Sparked by developer interest, planning staff are proposing changes to the carriage house zoning to allow small lot duplexes with a simplified ownership structure. Staff are conducting a small pilot project with an interested developer, allowing a duplex to be constructed on a lot where it would not previously have been allowed.
The outcome is compatible with the in-fill challenge, an in-house program seeking ways to expand in-fill housing in a city known for urban sprawl.
To further simplify the process, staff are proposing an alternative to the duplex ownership structure commonly used in Kelowna, where two units are built on one strata lot. A strata corporation must be created to govern the arrangement. A different ownership structure, more common in Eastern Canada, uses a fee simple model creating two small lots with one unit per lot and a party wall agreement registered on title.
City planner Ryan Roycroft told council the net effect of the amendment, should it be fully supported by council, would not increase density but rather change the tenure of duplex ownership.
Kelowna introduced the RU6 carriage house zoning in 2002 in an attempt to increase density without destroying the character of traditional neighbourhoods.
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