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Concern over density of Wilson Street development

A five-unit strata development proposal on Wilson Street, consisting of single and duplex units, came before council at Tuesday's meeting.
Image Credit: City of Penticton
September 10, 2015 - 2:30 PM

PENTICTON - It's just too much for the small residential area, neighbours of a proposed Wilson Street development told council this week.

A zoning amendment is required to rezone the property from duplex housing to low density multiple housing, in addition to a site specific amendment to increase the maximum density. Variances will also be needed to allow interior and rear yard setbacks.

Joe Walters, the Chief Executive Officer of RADEC Group Inc., says his intention is to build a five-unit strata project with one duplex facing Wilson Street and one single family dwelling and a duplex facing a side lane. The lot currently contains a single family dwelling.

Several neighbours of the proposed development turned up in Penticton council chambers to oppose the project at a public hearing prior Tuesday’s regular council meeting. Residents voiced concerns about the increase in both housing units and density being sought and argued it is too much for the size of the lot in question.

Angela Cormano, whose backyard adjoins the lane running along the side of 2922 Wilson St., presented a lengthy letter to council outlying her and her family’s objections to the development. She is concerned about a lack of parking spaces, limited to one per dwelling unit, which would mean visitors and residents with more than one vehicle will have to park in the lane or in the street.

Cormano is also concerned about variances to setbacks, and asked council to 'respect the setbacks and stick to bylaws.' Cormano said the density increase proposed would negatively affect livability.

Henry Kasper of 182 Arnott Pl. said the project was not discussed with any of the neighbours, the developer seeking 'only the consent of City Hall.' He noted the property was subject to repeated flooding due to sewer issues on the street that would only be worsened should the property be rezoned for higher densities.

Kasper, who refused to yield the floor after his allotted time, insisted council answer a long list of questions put forward in a letter submitted to council. He eventually gave up the floor at the insistence of Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

The developer assured those present the development would allow up to 10 parking spots, as there is room enough on the driveways of the units for one parked vehicle. He said the requested variances would not interfere with sight lines from neighbouring properties, and geotechnical engineers would design a rain management system for the property. The laneway running alongside the property will be paved and widened as part of the project, he added.

While considering the proposal during the regular meeting council found themselves split over the issue. Coun. Judy Sentes was concerned about safety for those using the adjacent lane, while Coun. Helena Konanz noted the city’s need to densify in order to create affordable housing.

“This is too much densification,” Coun. Tarik Sayeed said.

In the end council approved the zoning amendment for 2922 Wilson St., with Jakubeit and councillors Andre Martin, Sentes and Konanz in favour and councillors Sayeed, Max Picton and Campbell Watt opposed.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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