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Progress made on Kelowna’s new zoning bylaw

Draft bylaw made available for review by public, developers, and industry stakeholders last fall
Kelowna City Hall. (File photo)

Kelowna council has had a look at the progress so far on the city’s new zoning bylaw.

It is part of a six-stage process by the planning department that started in 2020. The draft zoning bylaw was made available for review by the public, developers, and industry stakeholders in the fall of 2021. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Agriculture Land Commission (ALC), and the Agriculture Advisory Committee (AAC) provided comments early in the process. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) has been engaged in preliminary review and discussions since September 2021.

A city staff report stated that feedback covered several areas, with most comments being technical in nature and referencing development regulations such as setbacks, lot areas, site coverage, height, and grade.

Other input focused on aligning the new zoning bylaw with provincial legislation, protection of agricultural land, electric vehicle-ready infrastructure in new residential developments, a proposed new density bonus model, blanket zoning and affordable housing, and amenity space in multi-family zones.

Councillor Luke Stack said he was glad to see the purpose-built rental housing and density bonusing was recommended to go forward.

“I was also happy to see the dropping of the number of storeys and just going to measurement in metres,” added Stack. “That’s always been confusing and I think the public is much better served just to have a measurement because it’s either within the measurement or it’s not.”

Stack also asked staff how developments already in stream will be handled.

“It is an issue that we’ve acknowledged and we will need to come up with an implementation plan,” said Terry Barton, development planning manager. “We have some early thoughts of how to make that transition as smooth as possible. Each one of them needs to be looked at individually to come up with a best-case scenario. We’ve met early with many of the developers that may be caught in this.”

Finalization of the new bylaw is coming this month, with council consideration expected in May. Ministerial sign-off is required before the zoning bylaw is likely adopted in June or July.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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