Cambridge House strata council says no room for retail

Kelowna councillors approve a zoning bylaw change, plan to probe lack of parking at condo complex

City of Kelowna councillors passed a motion Tuesday evening to amend a zoning bylaw for Cambridge House on Ethel Street to allow for offices, medical services and retail general in the building’s two retail units in the building, despite residents’ objections.

Residents and members of the strata council voiced their concerns during the public hearing insisting the infrastructure can not support retail due to a lack of parking and the potential increase in waste and garbage.

Cambridge House has 200 stalls serving 192 units and 28 of those were slotted as visitor parking, however a strata council representative informed council there are only eight visitor parking stalls and one handicap stall.

“The number of visitor parking stalls is woefully inadequate for existing needs of the building, let alone adding on one or more businesses and their clients’ parking needs,” the strata letter read.

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The strata said it feels any type of retail business would add additional strains to its already insufficient resources, including garbage and recycling facilities.

Cambridge House has one recycling bin and one garbage bin and the strata said it has had to increase the frequency of pickup as “these bins are already inadequate for the needs of the building.” It added there is no space to add additional bins.

The strata would like to see a small business use the 1,916 square-foot space on the ground level of the condo complex, but members said they didn’t want the amendment to the bylaw as it would open up the floor to retail outlets, such as convenience stores.

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“I do want the strata representatives tonight to know that I absolutely have heard their concerns,” Coun. Luke Stack said. “(Parking) is always a big issue for us and I am often reflecting on the decisions we made and it’s really good for us to hear back after a building is built out.”

“What I heard tonight warrants further review by us, and staff, to make sure when we’re approving projects that they will function in our city properly,” he said.

Coun. Brad Sieben supported the bylaw amendment, however he put forward a motion to have staff investigate the parking issue to ensure visitor parking regulations are being met. His motion was passed.

A report will be returned to council upon completion of the investigation.


Caitlin Clow
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com
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