September 12, 2016 - 9:00 PM
KELOWNA - A six-story building across from Kelowna’s Gyro Beach needs “wow” factor because of its location at the gateway to the Pandosy town centre.
That’s the opinion of Coun. Mohini Singh and other councillors, who gave the greenlight to take the proposal to the next stage.
“This is a really nice part of town,” Singh said. “I want us to press the developer to make sure it will have that wow aspect.”
Applicant Zeiler BKDI Architects is asking for a height variance allowing six floors (20.5 metres instead of 15) and a nine per cent reduction in parking requirements for the building from 158 stalls to 143.
The building will house 89 one- and two-bedroom rental units, planner Terry Barton told councillors.
However, they were much more concerned about the parking space reduction than the increased height, especially the developer’s back up plan which is to pay cash-in-lieu of parking if a deal cannot be struck with Fortis B.C. to provide extra surface parking in a neighbouring lot.
“I’m sure glad that’s plan B. I wouldn’t want it to be plan A,” Singh said.
Mayor Colin Basran said he's happy to see a developer do something with an iconic site he described as difficult to develop, given its location next to a huge Fortis substation.
Coun. Luke Stack said he's pleased with the proposal for a site he described as being "marquee gateway."
The development requires the consolidation of five lots. One of them is a city-owned lot currently zoned for residential development.
Changing the zoning under the official community plan requires a public hearing process, Barton told councillors.
Staff support the application, Barton added, because it meets the density goals of the Pandosy town centre.
Just two weeks ago, council gave initial approval to a change in the zoning bylaw to allow six story residential buildings. Previously, the height limit was 4.5 storeys without a development variance.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016