Kelowna city council is holding off on a decision that could lead to construction of a second hotel across the highway from Kelowna’s airport.
Despite staff opposition to a request to change what is allowed under the existing comprehensive development zone for the property—the former Pier Mac gravel pit—council deferred the issue in order to get a staff report looking at the entire area.
A Calgary-based company wants to build a six-storey Sandman Signature hotel on part of the property.
Planning staff argued the changes being asked for would adversely affect the integrity of the entire planning program, would conflict with the city’s land-use designation for the property and would erode the amount of industrial land in the area.
“The applicant sees the opportunity for a hotel but we should not put the cart before the horse and do planning after the fact,” said city planner Ryan Smith.
He added the requested change could be the first of five or six similar requests for zoning changes in other comprehensive development industrial zones around the city, all of which could include hotel proposals.
Applicant Scott Thompson said there is a need for another airport hotel in the area, noting that with the exception of the existing nearby 120-room Four-Points by Sheraton hotel, the closest hotel is 7.5 kilometres away.
He said the proposed new hotel would add 100 jobs to the local economy.
But council voted to hold off allowing the change, agreeing that “one-off” changes could create problems in the CD15 industrial zone.
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