Despite two public hearings, which each produced a considerable number of concerns from residents, District of West Kelowna council gave third reading to zoning amendments in the Glenrosa area.
The amendments would change three current rural zoned lots (RU2) to single detached housing (R1) on three parcels west of McIver road. The southeast parcel would be rezoned to compact housing (RC1).
Coun. Rosalind Neis was quick to remind council that the switch to compact housing is what had the public upset on Sept. 13 and 20.
“I went up to this property, looked at it, walked it and knocked on all the doors of people that live in this neighbourhood,” said Neis.
“The people that live in this neighbourhood would not object to development that (is) congruent with what is in place today, which is single family housing throughout the entire project.
“As council will recall, the people that live in that area would prefer not to have compact housing in their neighbourhood. I believe that this is not the right location for compact housing.”
Coun. Duane Ophus clarified that the RC1 zoning is still single family housing.
“The entire application is single family housing. The only difference between (single detached housing) and (compact housing) is the size of the lot. When it comes to the idea of smart growth, it’s simply a more effective use of land to continue growth within a smaller lot size,” said Ophus.
“In terms of affordability, that’s what people are looking for.
“From some of the comments that were made in the public hearing, council needs to do a better job of educating the public what it is that’s being proposed here.”
Another concern that the public brought forward at the hearing was the issue of traffic safety.
A number of community members suggested that the development may affect the surrounding road network. A key area of concern was the intersection at McIver Road and Glenrosa Road.
Coun. Bryden Winsby suggested that the dangerous intersection was an issue that shouldn’t be ignored.
“I think that they’re two separate issues. We’re dealing with a particular development, but we’re also dealing with an ongoing open sore and that is Glenrosa and McIver.”
Winsby made a separate motion that district staff return to council with information regarding costs for necessary improvements to the intersection. The motion passed unanimously.
As for the zoning amendments, Neis was the only councillor opposed as the third reading passed 6-1.