Parking the tipping point for micro-suite apartment approval
By John McDonald
Traffic congestion around the Landmark office complex has city councillors questioning a micro-suite development application.
(JOHN MCDONALD /InfoTel Multimedia)
January 19, 2015 - 7:35 PM
KELOWNA - For such small suites, Kelowna city council has some big problems with a high-density apartment building proposed for Dickson Avenue near the Landmark complex.
Designs submitted by the developer Dickson Avenue Holdings call for 90 suites, about half of which would be 29 square metres with one parking space included for each unit.
What had councillors excited was not the parking within the development or even the development variances requested by the applicant, but traffic and congestion on the roads in the surrounding neighbourhood.
Despite their praise for the additional rental units it would bring to an area that sorely needs it, most councillors targeted on-street parking as the real concern, even though the development would provide 104 parking spaces.
“The streets around there are clogged. It’s bumper-to-bumper parking,” Councillor Mohini Singh says. “This is a perfect spot for multi-family housing but we have to be careful how we procede or we’re going to have another huge parking problem.
Others echoed her concern over parking even as they extolled the benefits the micro-suites would bring to the city, but not Coun. Gail Given who said the additional rental stock in a area of the city where housing density is desired overrode her concerns about parking.
“This is about putting housing close to the work environment,” Coun. Gail Given says. “The micro-suites meet the whole tech sector need for more units and less vehicles so I’m surprised by the concerns.”
The tipping point was the lack of a traffic study within the application, which staff says was due to be complete in time for a possible public hearing into the application on Feb. 17. Coun. Luke Stack said he felt the application wasn’t ready for public hearing without the study.
In the end, council approved sending the project to public hearing but without a firm date, allowing staff to complete the traffic study and include it in public information before the hearing is held.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015