Concerns over traffic congestion and pedestrian safety almost delayed a development permit for a large apartment complex proposed for the former Westwind Nursey site in Kelowna.
Traine Construction and Development wants to build two, five-storey, wood-frame buildings at 2165 Benvoulin Court. Mayer Road would be extended between Benvoulin Court and Benvoulin Road as part of the project.
Several councillors raised concerns about a planned crosswalk at Benvoulin and Mayer roads.
“I like the project but I’m surprised the city wants another access onto Benvoulin,” said Coun. Rick Webber. “It’s risky to have a crosswalk on that road that doesn’t have lights, in the dark.”
Staff told council there would be pedestrian operated flashing lights, and street lights, but not a traffic light.
Coun. Gord Lovegrove said he felt that there is a huge safety concern for pedestrians.
“The area is a zoo on weekends. It’s already heavily congested.”
Councillors were also concerned about the size of the development.
Between them, the two buildings would contain 187 units.
“Several of these long, row housing types buildings have been brought to us in the past,” said Coun. Maxine DeHart. “We’ve had many discussions about them. I’m not sure if we want this anymore.”
Staff noted that the building length is determined by the developer for affordability and efficiency and that a number of design techniques are used to make it as attractive as possible, and soften the effects.
Council approved, with councillors Lovegrove and Charlie Hodge opposed and Luke Stack declaring a conflict of interest, the development permit for the project, but directed staff to come back with a report and potential solutions over traffic and pedestrian safety concerns.
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