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Coun. Cannan wants Kelowna’s heritage area exempted from density, development

City staff are conducting a review of the Heritage Conservation Area
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Kelowna Councillor Ron Cannan. (City of Kelowna video)

Councillor Ron Cannan wants the city to pressure the province to preserve Kelowna’s Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) from development.

“Are we going to allow the province to destroy it, I don’t think they want to do that either,” he said at council’s May 13 meeting.

Cannan brought up the issue during a staff update of the HCA including management options and public consultation.

Staff emphasized the importance of preserving heritage values while accommodating the needs of a growing population.

However, new provincial legislation mandates three to four dwelling units when redeveloping a single-family lot, including in the HCA.

Director of planning and development, Ryan Smith, told council that staff have had several discussions with the province regarding the easing of density in the HCA.

“I got the same response ‘This hasn’t been implemented yet why would we grant exemptions?’”

Cannan pointed out that this is a provincial election year.

“I think this is a time where we have some leverage to push back on them.”

He also noted Kelowna is a leader in densification and infill, pointing out this is a provincial election year.

“We’re not going to build our way out of this affordability crisis,” Cannan added. “We need to preserve some of the heritage and character of our community.”

A portion of a public hearing this afternoon (May 14) will deal with Official Community Plan amendments addressing densification in the HCA.

It begins at 4 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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