Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Car-share squabble creates parking problems at Kelowna rental apartments

Two under-construction apartment complexes are causing parking-related headaches for the City of Kelowna.

Council initially approved the buildings, located at 1145 Pacific Avenue and 599 Clement Avenue, in February 2019, with a parking variance to reduce the number of parking stalls at each development. The applicant, Okanagan Opportunity, had the option to pay cash-in-lieu of parking but instead committed to implementing a car-share service for the residents.

But, an ongoing dispute between the car-share provider and the city has nixed that option.

As such, the developer is now seeking to rezone the properties to the city’s rental tenure only sub-zone, allowing for a 20 per cent reduction in on-site parking — in line with the offerings at each building.

Once complete, the two buildings will provide 89 units of rental accommodation, something Mayor Colin Basran said he’s supportive of regardless of how it came about.

“Is it a messy way to get there? Yes, unfortunately, it is,” Basran admitted.

“But if this had been a fresh application with somebody saying ‘I’m going to provide rental housing, under the rental-only zoning and it’s going to be rental in perpetuity.’ And it meets our bylaws? We’d be all over it.”

The rezoning applications will be forwarded to a future public hearing — at which Coun. Luke Stack said he will have some questions.

“I would ask the question to the applicant: Does your parking plan work for your designated building, and for your tenants?” Stack said.

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