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New housing legislation challenging, but Kelowna making progress

‘We’re well down the road figuring out what that looks like on the community’
New homes under construction. (File photo)

City of Kelowna staff has a lot of work on its hands in dealing with new provincial legislation changes aimed at building more homes, more quickly across B.C.

The legislation is meant to accelerate affordable homes and reduce red tape in cities with populations of more than 15,000 residents.

Director of Planning and Development Services, Ryan Smith, says they have been working on Kelowna’s plan for months already.

“We’re well down the road figuring out what that looks like on the community,” he told council during an update at its Monday (Jan. 15) regular meeting.

Proposed housing includes affordable small-scale, multi-family dwellings of up to four units in urban areas and up to six units in suburban zones.

Coun. Maxine DeHart said she expects this will change the face of Kelowna.

“And, it’s going to change the face of how we do business around this council and how people connect with us. We will help them as much as we can but our hands will be tied in certain areas.”

Smith noted there will be many challenges with implementing the changes required by the province.

“Perfection is not the goal and I don’t think that is possible for any municipality,” he said.

Coun. Loyal Wooldridge said he felt the city would be able to adapt to the changes through the work that has already been done through the Official Community Plan 2040.

“It will be an adjustment for residents but at the end of the day this is about building as many homes as we possibly can and bringing that online as fast as possible.”

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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