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Rental suites could be coming to Kelowna's ritziest neighbourhoods

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June 01, 2016 - 5:00 PM

KELOWNA - Homeowners in some of Kelowna’s toniest neighbourhoods could soon see secondary suites in the homes around them.

But community planning manager Ryan Smith says allowing secondary suites in Kettle Valley, Tower Ranch and Quail’s Gate will help ease the city’s extreme rental housing crunch and is something that’s already happening anyway.

“Bylaw says they are already existing in those areas, just existing illegally,” Smith says.

In 2012 Kelowna council voted to allow secondary suites in single-family houses throughout the city, but some exceptions were made for non-standard and comprehensive development zones.

Smith says Monday’s decision would clean up those exceptions, affecting aproximately 1,050 houses, each requiring rezoning by the city should it eventually be approved.

Planner Adam Ceske, in the accompanying report to council, says there are 631 houses in Kelowna which have a suite and the required business license to go along with it.

But there are another 1,771 houses identified as having a suite but lacking the business license. Conversely, there are 482 properties with the necessary business license but don’t actually have an active secondary suite.

Part of the staff recommendation is to eliminate the requirement for a business licenses for secondary suites, because no such requirement is made of owners renting out single-family houses, duplexes or townhouses.

Staff are also recommending secondary suites be allowed in strata complexes, pushing their regulation to strata councils.

While council agreed to let staff move ahead with the proposed zoning changes, Smith says any such move would still require a public hearing allowing residents in affected areas their say.

“If residents are concerned about the changes, they will have the opportunity to appear before council and state their case,” he says.

To that end, staff are also recommending the city spend as much as $7,500 on a public consultation with homeowners in the affected areas.

Find more Kelowna rental housing stories here.


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