Questions were raised by Kelowna council during Monday’s (Apr. 11) meeting over accessible parking at a housing development planned for 1875 Richter Street.
In plans presented to the city, Councillor Loyal Wooldridge noted the parking plan included a van-accessible visitors stall, but nowhere for a person living in the designated accessible apartment to park.
“If that is being designated as a van-accessible visitors stall, where is the person living in the accessible unit supposed to park permanently?”
Paul Schuster with NOvation Architecture, the applicant, stated city bylaws require the van-accessible visitors’ stall.
“The van-accessible would be designated to that unit if it were being utilized for somebody that actually needed that unit. It’s there for flexibility. So we’re providing all the visitor stalls. We have enough if that were being designated specifically for that tenant, then we would designate another visitor stall in lieu of that.”
Schuster added it’s a difficult situation as the bylaw doesn’t really give a calculation needed for accessible stalls.
“If I had ten accessible units in this building, I would only be required to provide maybe two (stalls),” he said. “It actually goes to a code issue, not a bylaw.”
He also said the outside visitor stall is large enough to accommodate an accessible stall if need be, but added it wasn’t designated as such because it wasn’t required per the bylaw.
Wooldridge said he had concerns with the response to his questions.
“I’m not willing to vote against this today because rental units are much needed,” he said. “There is always so much discussion of what the bylaw requires versus logically what would be needed. It does give me concern in terms of our own requirements.”
Councillors were pleased though that the applicant took public comments to heart about the buildings’ “modern look.”
“I actually think the design is much more appropriate for the neighbourhood,” said Councillor Luke Stack. “It’s a traditional neighbourhood, and because we’re trying to create a neighbourhood that’s complimentary it should have some historic.”
A development permit was approved by council.