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Student highrise numbers too much for Kelowna city staff

Drawing of Cambridge House proposed for Ethel Street and Harvey Avenue.
Image Credit: City of Kelowna
August 01, 2015 - 6:35 PM

KELOWNA - Design deficiencies in a high-rise intended for student housing is threatening the project’s viability.

City of Kelowna planning staff are recommending city council not support an application for a development permit and a development variance permit for Cambridge House, a 70-unit six-storey high-rise planned for the corner of Ethel Street and Harvey Avenue.

On its website, Cambridge House bills itself as affordable living space for students and offers such amenities 24 hour security, bike storage, community barbecue and secure laundry facilities.

Management will also provide 30 bicycles for the use of tennants.

But in a report to city council, planner Adam Cseke says staff opposition to the project centres around “over-use” of the property and the variances the applicant seeks; a 12.5 per cent increase in site coverage, cutting the building setback to 3.2 metres, and cutting the number of parking stalls from 139 to 126.

Staff are also opposed to what they view as an architectural design deficiency where the car parkade is the dominant street level feature, something they say could be solved by making the structure taller.

Planners say they have had consultations with developers, but have not resolved their differences. The applicant is Meiklejohn Architects on behalf of Boardwalk Housing Corp.

Council will consider the staff recommendation at 6 p.m., Tuesday, August 11 in council chambers at Kelowna City Hall.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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