Kelowna city council likes mixing residential units into industrial buildings

Proposal for city’s North End would see four residential units on top floor of industrial building

Kelowna city council likes the idea of a developer building residential units on the top floor of four-storey industrial/office building in the city.

Seen as a creative way of producing more housing, council agreed to send the proposal to a pubic hearing Monday.

“This is an interesting idea, mixing residential with industrial uses,” said city planner Terry Barton in presenting the proposal to council.

He said it is the first time the city has looked at allowing residential development in the industrial zone.

The project would see construction of three new industrial buildings—built over time—and one would have four residential units on the top floor. The lower floors would be used for industrial and office use.

The units would be for employees of the developer, Emil Anderson Construction, and would not be put on the public rental market. They would also not be stratified, so they could not be sold.

The units would be built on a lot currently zoned industrial at the corner of Ethel Street and Cawley Avenue in the city’s North End.

For now, the mixture of residential and industrial uses would only apply to that site and will be considered a pilot project by the city. Barton said, if successful, similar housing would be considered for other industrial areas of the city in the future.

Council praised the plan, calling it “interesting” and “exciting,” as well as a way to provide more needed housing in the city.

A similar plan was proposed in 2014 for an industrial site in the University South neighbourhood of the city, but according to Barton, “it never went anywhere.”

That land was eventually sold by the owner and used for a more traditional industrial development, said the staff report presented to council.

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