Residents show little appetite for multi-family development in Tallus Ridge

A view of the homes along Paramount Drive in the Tallus Ridge neighborhood. Several residents are opposed to a rezoning application that would allow for multi-family development in Tallus Ridge. - Wade Paterson/Capital News
A view of the homes along Paramount Drive in the Tallus Ridge neighborhood. Several residents are opposed to a rezoning application that would allow for multi-family development in Tallus Ridge.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

Several Tallus Ridge residents are once again voicing their concerns over proposed zoning bylaw amendments that would bring multi-family development to Tallus Ridge.

The residents approached District of West Kelowna council at a public hearing Tuesday evening.

Gail Mason said the character of the neighbourhood is being compromised by the proposed rezoning plans.

"We built and bought in 2006 with the idea that it was going to be a lot of green space, trees, open land and all single family homes," said Mason.

"We walk our dogs through the area every day and that steep slope, right across from us, is full of trees (with) flocks of Robins.

"It may sound corny, but that's why we moved here."

According to a report by district planner Shannon Tartaglia, Ryser Developments is proposing to rezone the remaining lands within the Tallus Ridge neighbourhood. Eight residential development areas are proposed in a mix of single family and multi-family zoning, with 47.8-hectares of the remainder non-ALR lands set to be zoned as park and open space.

Trent Kitsch, agent for the application, said the development began in 2006 and will take approximately 15 years to reach full build-out.

The majority of residents who spoke Tuesday night were opposed to the inclusion of multi-family units in the Tallus Ridge neighbourhood.

"This neighbourhood is unlike anything else and it's being compromised by putting multi-family homes right out my front door," said Tracey Cochrane.

"I'm frustrated, I'm very disappointed and my property value will go down."

Joanne Carels said a multi-family development is proposed for just behind her Stonegrove Crescent home.

"Currently we have green space behind our home and a beautiful view of the lake," said Carels.

"Now I'm going to have a road to overlook, as well as a multi-family (development). Those were not the intentions when I bought the property and I certainly would not have bought there had that been the plan."

Although several residents agreed they were led to believe multi-family units wouldn't be included in their neighbourhood when they initially bought their homes, Tartaglia's report indicated the Shannon Lake West Concept Development Plan, adopted in 2007, includes multiple family building types.

The neighbourhood plan anticipates approximately 700 residential units within the neighbourhood, in a mix of single family and multi-family building types.

Resident Wayne Wilhelm said that contrasts what he was told when he purchased his home four years ago.

"I remember we did check out the zoning plan, because one of the questions on our mind was: What's going to happen to that land right across the street from us on Tallus Ridge?" said Wilhelm.

He said he recalls being told the land would remain green space.

Geoff Paynter, who addressed council regarding a separate issue, was the only person apart from Kitsch to voice support for the rezoning application.

"The Official Community Plan shows multi-family in all of these sites—if people had looked at it," said Paynter.

"I would be supporting this rezoning. It's going to give everyone an absolute (idea of) what it's zoned and and what it's going to be 15 years from now. And they don't have to worry about it anymore."

Kitsch spoke a second time at the public hearing in an attempt to address some of the concerns raised by residents.

"I pay respect to everybody's opinion," said Kitsch.

"Since I took the job, my goal has always been to try to get back out to the community and talk to people a lot more."

He noted the development will have 25 per cent green space—nine per cent of which is dedicated parks—despite the fact the overall green space requirement is only five per cent.

After hearing a resident's concern about how sight lines may be affected in the neighbourhood, Kitsch also committed to have a visual impact assessment done prior to third reading.

Council will decide whether or not to give the zoning bylaw amendments third reading at an upcoming council meeting.

Twitter: @PatersonWade


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