'Some concerns' about apartment buildings on old B.C. Tree Fruit packinghouse site in Kelowna - InfoNews

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'Some concerns' about apartment buildings on old B.C. Tree Fruit packinghouse site in Kelowna

An artist's rendering of the proposed development.
May 14, 2018 - 11:00 AM

KELOWNA - With an eye toward the preservation of Kelowna’s industrial land, staff are giving qualified support for a new rental apartment building on the old B.C. Tree Fruit packinghouse site.

“Staff’s recommendation of support does not come without some concern for how the residential/commercial land uses will adequately integrate within the larger north-end industrial area,” planner specialist Adam Cseke writes in a report to council.

“The block of Clement Avenue is a key transitional area that has the potential to undermine the security of the surrounding industrial lands without a broader vision,” Cseke adds.

By allowing the proposed 148-unit rental apartment development to go ahead on the site, the city risks giving other owners of adjacent industrial land the impression that they too could try to change the zoning and future land use of their property to residential.

Speculation on industrial land could in turn drive up prices in the area, Cseke writes, and once occupied, the development could be the source of complaints against industrial business practices.

A review of complaints from the area include odours from garbage bins, commercial vehicles blocking roads and unsightly piles of pallets, Cseke writes, all without any residential units in the area.

A previous development proposed for the 3.6-acre site would have seen a large brewery, a commercial market as well as a residential development with commercial street frontage. That proposal fell through in 2016.

The latest proposal by owners PC Urban Clement Holdings Ltd. would see two residential buildings facing outward to Richter Street and Clement Avenue with a 231-space parking lot acting as the transition to surrounding industrial land.

The site is across Richter Street from the newly opened Kelowna RCMP detachment building. Council has also given approval to the construction of a six-storey rental apartment building across Clement Avenue.

Kelowna council will consider the request to rezone the property from industrial to mixed used commercial/residential at a public hearing, Tuesday, May 14 at 6 p.m. in Kelowna council chambers.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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