November 18, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KELOWNA - Concerns from city councillors about a student housing complex proposed for the Rutland town centre are focused not on the party potential of the 72 college students who might live there, but on potential parking problems.
The 4.5-storey 23-unit apartment building proposed for Dundas Road and Highway 33 would provide students housing in compact 'dorm-style' units of between three and five bedrooms.
Developer Unico One Developments Ltd. is proposing a list of seven development variances, including a request to substantially lower parking requirements, however staff still support the proposal as being particularly well-suited to students.
“Students or residents are only 300 metres from 31 shops and services in the Rutland town centre,” planner Adam Cseke wrote in a report to council, which notes the proximity of Ben Lee Park and the excellent transit service students could expect being on the UBC Okanagan-Okanagan College line.
The developer wants the city to drop the requirement for eleven parking stalls and pay cash in lieu for eight more, bringing the number down to 27 stalls from the original demand for 46.
At a meeting this week, councillors concerns also touched on how best to ensure the development stays as student rental housing and doesn’t morph into a condominium. City staff told councillors that could be controlled by restrictive covenant.
Coun. Gail Given was concerned what the operators of the student housing complex would do with the rooms in the summer months.
“What happens then? Are they going to be wondering about short-term rentals.”
In the end, council supported the rezoning of the property, allowing the proposal to move to the next phase.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015