A six-storey rental development was given the go-ahead by Kelowna city council, much to the disdain of some south Pandosy residents at a public hearing on Tuesday night (Sept. 10).
Residents expressed concerns over the height and proximity of the Mission Group development to a neighbouring building.
The building is set to be built at 464 West Ave in a location which currently only allows four-storey buildings. The design of the building sees the taller portion placed away from the neighbouring building, placing a large second-floor rooftop patio between the two residences.
After the presentation and public hearing, council was happy with the form and character of the development, resulting in a 6-1 vote in favour of Mission Group. Coun. Mohini Singh was absent at the vote.
Coun. Charlie Hodge was the lone ‘no’ in a sea of ‘yes’ as council approved the development but it came with an asterisk.
“The neighbourhood has said clearly, that they’re not comfortable with this here. I’m going to vote no, but I can do the math,” he said.
“I hope at the end of the day that the neighbourhood can go, ‘you know what? That’s not bad. I’m pretty happy with that.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building.”
Mayor Basran said a facility like this is necessary for the Pandosy area.
“I think that what this brings to this area is much needed rental housing to our community. It creates a more vibrant urban center when we have more people living in it. It means less sprawl, again, by encouraging growth in our Urban Centers and by reducing sprawl it has a positive impact on the environment,” said Basran.
At the initial public hearing in June, Mayor Colin Basran said he was shocked at the community’s response to the development.
“You’d think it was a 15-storey building being proposed here,” he said. “I agree that South Pandosy is not downtown, and I’m not trying to make it downtown, but a small bump about what’s currently called for in the OCP and what’s being proposed is not, in my estimation, that dramatic. And to me, it fits in with what the OCP is — it’s a guiding document, it’s not set in stone.”
“This is a project that I can support because it’s not a huge deviation of what currently exists,” he added.
The project is set to host 48 purpose-built rental units as well as five commercial storefronts.