Major cleanup of Kelowna land use contracts won't come with mass eviction notices - InfoNews

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Major cleanup of Kelowna land use contracts won't come with mass eviction notices

August 23, 2019 - 5:07 PM

KELOWNA - It has taken City of Kelowna planner Jenna Ratzlaff three months to get to the point where she can recommend the termination of 28 and land use contracts to city council on Monday.

While she doesn’t expect any opposition from landowners over the proposed changes, she has fielded a number of calls from people worried about their futures after getting letters from her.

“I have received calls from several of them,” Ratzlaff told “Some don’t quite understand the process. Some are in multifamily buildings so they are in strata lots. They think we’re evicting them, which is not the case at all.”

Land use contracts were a tool used in the 1970s to encourage development. While properties had underlying zoning, the contracts allowed owners to do things not necessarily allowed in by the zoning and to avoid paying things like development cost charges.

The province ruled that they all must be discharged or terminated by mid-2024 so Kelowna has been working on that since 2014.

A list on the city’s website shows there are 67 contracts still on the books, affecting 435 properties. Some of those properties have a strata so multiple owners, meaning hundreds of Kelowna residents are affected by this process.

Some are for large commercial or industrial properties, such as some parts of the Landmark development. Those are not on the list for Monday’s meeting.

Of the 28 reports going to council Monday, Aug. 26, nine recommend changing from the land use contract to the underlying zone. The other 19 call for a change to that underlying zone. All the properties have been built on.

Ratzlaff will have to laboriously present each report to council. Each has two or three slides so the whole presentation will take at least an hour.

“After a while, they’ll get fairly repetitive so we may be able to go through them a little quicker,” Ratzlaff said.

Still, each is unique and each will have to go to a special public hearing that will just deal with land use contracts.

She doesn’t expect any opposition to the changes recommended by staff but owners will have a chance to speak at the public hearings. If they disagree with council’s final decision, owners can appeal to the city’s Board of Variance.

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