Kelowna News

Kelowna condo buyer offers warning to prospective buyers

This is what passes for visitor parking at the Sole on KLO condo. The sign on the wall says it's a fire lane and no parking is allowed at any time.

Sandra Gault had no idea that parking would become such a headache when she bought her condo in Sole on KLO a couple of years ago.

She bought a top-floor unit with a big sundeck and a great view in the complex that was then under construction across from Okanagan College.

It came with its own designated parking spot. But she didn’t think to ask about visitors parking.

“I wouldn’t have thought to even ask when it was under construction,” she told iNFOnews.ca. “There was a large parking lot alongside our building and behind. I thought, 'oh, there’s visitors parking.'”

That was in December 2018. When she was the first to move into the building the following August she noticed a fence going up blocking off access to that parking lot.

“I was kind of dumbfounded by that,” Gault said.

It didn’t take long for the small entrance road to plug up as others moved in.

“You’re moving in, you’re unloading your vehicle and going back and forth and there are vehicles parked all over the place,” Gault said. “Even to get in and out of the garage is extremely tight and, often, someone will leave a vehicle along the fence because there is no other place to park. That blocks the garage. That blocks the garbage room.”

The problem is the complete lack of visitor’s parking in the 54-unit complex.

The closest alternative street parking is blocks away or in the neighbouring apartment complex where they get towed.

“Friends won’t come to visit,” Gault said. “I have a number of friends who are disabled, who have MS and use walkers and canes. My mother can’t walk five blocks from Casorso to the building.”

She’s got notes from Canada Post saying they can’t deliver a parcel because there’s no place to park.

“People are yelling at each other, parking all over the place, in the grass in front of the building, blocking the sidewalk,” Gault said. “Friends don’t even want to pick me up at the building because they’re afraid of getting blocked in. It’s frustrating and it's maddening.”

Gault quit the strata council after getting too many parking complaints from residents. In June she decided to sell but can’t find a buyer.

She gave the example of one man who loved the place and the price for his daughter but walked away when he realized there was no place for him to park when he came for a visit.

She and her mother have lobbied city councillors trying to find solutions to no avail.

"Where was the error made?” Gault asked. “Was the error made in how the idea of the building was sold to city council? Did the planning department make an error? Did the builder make the error?”

The city is not taking responsibility.

The only other parking stalls are used for a car pool vehicle and one that is for the bakery operator along this short stretch of pavement with garbage storage at the end and the parkade door just past the parking spots.
The only other parking stalls are used for a car pool vehicle and one that is for the bakery operator along this short stretch of pavement with garbage storage at the end and the parkade door just past the parking spots.

The land was rezoned and a development permit issued in 2017 and 2018.

The zone required 40 parking stalls for residents, six for visitors and one commercial. The developer – Edgecombe Builders Group – asked that the residential parking stalls be cut to 28 because many of the small suites would likely be sold to people who would not have cars.

The city agreed. But, in the process, the requirement for six visitor stalls was also cut to three spots that were not actually designated for visitors.

There are two outdoor parking stalls at Sole on KLO. One is for the operator of a bakery that operates on site and the other is used for a MODO car pool vehicle that is available for non-residents as well as residents of the building.

The only legally available spot to park is the disabled stall inside the locked parkade. It’s used by the handyman, groundskeeper and others.

The handyman threatened to quit after being yelled at by a resident for using that spot, Gault said.

Handicapped parking is not restricted to that use only, city planning specialist Adam Cseke told iNFOnews.ca

“That stall was always designated as a visitors stall,” he said. “That’s how it showed on the plans. From the staff’s perspective, there has been a visitor’s stall. They (strata council) are just not using it as a visitor stall.”

He puts the blame, therefore, not on the city or on the developer but on the strata council for not finding a way to allow visitor access to that one stall inside the locked parkade.

The sad reality for residents like Gault is that there are 54 units in the building and not a single readily available parking spot anywhere on site for visitors.

When iNFOnews.ca dropped by to take a look, there were two vehicles parked in the loading zone in front of a no parking sign

The city has changed its policy that allowed Edgecombe to pay $7,500 cash in lieu of the parking stalls it didn’t build and allowed the company to also reduce the number of visitor stalls.

That money will go towards a parkade that may, someday, be built in the South Pandosy area but not likely to benefit the Sole on KLO residents.

It will now cost $33,000 per resident stall that isn’t built so developers may be less inclined to cut down on resident parking.

But, there is still no explanation as to why the city thought that, just because all the residents didn’t have cars, that their visitors wouldn’t either.


UBCO students, Hellen and Elis surverying cyclists at the UBCO exit on the Okanagan Rail Trail.
Driverless bus could become part of the Rail Trail in Kelowna
A joint UBCO-City of Kelowna study on transit options for the Okanagan Rail Trail through the city is stopping users to get their thoughts. “The need from the city was to explore the opportunity for this corridor, that is available to
Facebook/Gurdwara Guru Amardas Sikh Society wants to relocate to a larger site that will have an agricultural component.
New Kelowna Sikh temple looking to grow food for the needy
A relocated and expanded Gurdwara, or Sikh temple, will include gardens to feed the needy and train people going through difficult times. The Gurdwara Guru Amardas Sikh Society has applied to the City of Kelowna to rezone land near Benvouli
A vendor trims marijuana with scissors during the annual 4-20 cannabis culture celebration at Sunset Beach in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Canada’s financial intelligence agency says a wide range of businesses – from food wholesalers to electronics repair services – have been used to disguise the proceeds of illicit cannabis operations.
Front companies being used to launder illicit cannabis cash: intelligence agency
OTTAWA - Canada’s financial intelligence agency says a wide range of businesses — from food wholesalers to electronics repair services — are being used to disguise the proceeds of illicit cannabis operations. In a new oper
Artist rendering of proposed housing development on the Ponderosa Lands in upper Peachland.
Peachland golf course project comes with hundreds of homes
More than a decade after first being approved, work is expected to start next year on a new golf course and up to 500 homes on what’s known as the Ponderosa lands in upper Peachland. In 2011, a plan for those lands was approved by the

Top News