Illegal fourplex gets the nod of approval, and disapproval, from Kelowna council

Illegal fourplex operating beside the city's multiuse pathway in downtown Kelowna may get the city's seal of approval thanks to neighbours

  • Mar. 25, 2013 12:00 p.m.
An illegal fourplex may be legalized 20 years after opening all four doors as council debates the merits of future planning verses the practicalities of today's market.

An illegal fourplex may be legalized 20 years after opening all four doors as council debates the merits of future planning verses the practicalities of today's market.

A fourplex sitting alongside the downtown multi-use pathway on High Road will be sent to public hearing for consideration of a bid to legalize its units to create four separate condos, under a new zoning and Official Community Plan designation.

Though the building has been operated as a fourplex since shortly after it was built 20 years ago, the owners never legalized it as such, only having former city councillor Graeme James, acting as their agent, pitch a bid to have it conform to city zoning and bylaws with a redevelopment plan this spring.

The mode of attack does impress at least one councillor, however. Coun. Gail Given stated quite openly during Monday’s council meeting that she is uncomfortable with the owners’ attempts to back-end due process.

“For it to come around now, and for us to be finally legalizing what was always intended to be a fourplex, I just find that problematic,” she said, shaking her head.

Nevertheless, without complaints from any of the residents, as canvassed by James on behalf of owners Geoff and Leanne Proteau, the mayor suggested it was likely worth forwarding the rezoning to public hearing to see if the neighbourhood is at all uncomfortable with the owners’ plans.

The move overlooked the objections of Kelowna city staff, who were opposed to the application because it prevents a four-lot development from being assembled on the site. The High Road block does lend itself to high-density housing, situated as it is beside a large senior’s housing complex on Pheasant Street and leading to a busy downtown thoroughfare, Gordon Drive.

Council was informed that an offer to purchase the other three lots in question has never materialized. In the meantime, the Proteaus would like to renovate the insides of the units, potentially to sell each condo separately.

Kelowna Capital News