With more than 50,000 people expected to move to Kelowna in the next 20 years, city staff are looking to ramp up infill housing in the community.
An update on the Infill Options project, going to council May 15, finds housing in existing core area neighbourhoods is one of the solutions needed to accommodate growth.
The challenge for staff is that more than 90 per cent of lots in those neighbourhoods are not zoned to permit infill. According to the report, this barrier limits housing supply, creates uncertainty, slows production, and adds cost.
The project looks at ‘pre-zoning’ which would allow infill development across a larger portion of core area neighbourhoods. The report states that while infill will not solve all of Kelowna’s housing challenges, it will help increase supply and diversity.
In April, the provincial government released its plan to increase the production of small-scale, multi-unit townhomes by allowing up to four units on single-family detached lots.
“The city of Kelowna is already a leader and early adopter of infill housing delivery with hundreds of units constructed in recent years,” the report reads. “The Infill Options project will better position the city to respond to this upcoming legislative change by updating our infill housing response.”
In 2017, the city initiated a bulk rezoning of approximately 800 lots in the downtown and Pandosy neighbourhoods. It resulted in the annual average number of lots redeveloping with new infill from two to 23.
The report also identifies older neighbourhoods east of downtown and surrounding the Rutland urban centre as new areas of growth for infill housing.