Infill housing allowing high-density catching on in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Infill housing allowing high-density catching on in Kelowna

A carriage house goes up in Kelowna's North End, June 4, 2018.
June 07, 2018 - 4:00 PM

KELOWNA - A new zoning that allows some property owners to build three or four units on larger single-family lots is starting to take off.

“It started slow. We only did 14 or 15 last year. We’ve done double that so far this year,” community planning manager Ryan Smith said.

Similar to the carriage house zoning, the new infill zoning is an effort to add density to neighbourhoods primarily in the downtown core.

And like carriage houses, Smith said property owners and realtors are starting to become acquainted with new zoning.

“People are starting to become familiar with the cost involved, finding a builder, the builders are understanding what they can and can’t do,” Smith added.

So far, Smith said they haven’t heard complaints from people who live next door to the new homes.

Introduced last year, the infill zoning differs from the carriage house zoning in that property owners can choose to rent or sell the units.

“You can stratify them and sell them, just like you would a four-plex,” he said.

The zoning is automatic, although the size of the lot determines how many units can be constructed, Smith said. After identifying around 800 lots that were suitable, the city settled on 430 properties.

Approval of exterior form and character is required, however a builder can save time if they aren’t fussy about a unique design.

“If they've chosen from a couple of pre-approved designs, they can save time and get fast-tracked through the process,” Smith said.

Those designs were the winners of the Infill Challenge, where builders were challenged to come up with some interesting, cost-effective plans for higher density housing.

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