Kelowna council underwhelmed by row housing project design

Kelowna council underwhelmed by row housing project design

Academy Ridge proponents asked to explain exterior design decisions to council

Calling it boring and dull, Kelowna council has deferred its approval of a 154-unit row housing development proposed for Academy Way.

The Academy Ridge project design was presented to council Monday for first reading on a development permit application after extensive consultations with city planning staff.

While the project falls within the RM3 low density multiple housing zoning design guidelines and requiring no variance permits, several councillors expressed a desire to see a more dynamic design presentation.

Coun. Luke Stack said while there are a number of positive design attributes to the project he was looking for more architecture design creativity.

“I would like to have seen more variation on roof heights or just a different architectural mix once in a while, as having 156 units that all look exactly the same seems a bit overwhelming,” he said.

“It’s great to see the expanded housing supply but we want to see neighbourhoods developed that people feel good about living there and people feel good about driving through them…rather than seeing the cookie cutter approach.”

RELATED: Developers looking outside of Kelowna for project opportunities

Academy Ridge will encompass 30 separate buildings built over 11 separate construction phases on the east-facing 7.95-acre Academy Way property south of UBC Okanagan.

The design intent was to create a “living street concept” within a people friendly neighbourhood development with both garage and tandem parking allotments and an interior courtyard known as “The Park,” with lectern style seating around a lawn area accompanied by a variety of tree and shrub species.

Coun. Gail Given said nothing can be one to address what she called “form and character” design concerns if council adopts first reading on the development permit application is passed, which led Mayor Colin Basran to introduce a defer motion to enable the project owner, Watermark Developments Ltd., and permit applicant, Meiklejohn Architects, to give their viewpoint on the design choices made at an upcoming council meeting.

RELATED: Okanagan residents using too much water

City planning staff indicated discussion has taken place with the project applicant but the final design was what they wanted to proceed with.

Parking was another issue for some councillors who expressed concerns for the tandem parking. Of the 154 units, side-by-side garage parking is proposed for 88 units, and tandem parking for 66 units.

Tandem parking is configured like a single, double-length perpendicular parking spot. One space will be in front of the other, such that one car will have to pull out in order to access the second one.

Coun. Loyal Wooldridge felt the tandem parking aspect would lead to spillover parking although as a major arterial route in the city’s north end, no parking is allotted on Academy Way.

Basran noted parking was not an issue for him, but felt further discussion with council from the Academy Ridge proponents was in order.

“If we reject the application at this point we send them all the way back to step one,” Basran said, saying clarification is needed on the project’s exterior design choices and parking options.

“By deferring this, we allow the development team the opportunity to come before us and express their rationale behind the design and answer questions from council before we decide to either send them back or say it’s okay with us.”



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Rutland

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

A West Cabs driver is being investigated for an incident which allegedly took place this week. (West Cabs)
West Kelowna cab driver under investigation after altercation over his lack of mask

Passenger alleges cab driver became confrontational when asked about wearing mask

(Pixabay)
‘We need to be empathetic’; Kelowna support worker speaks out after disabled individual denied haircut

Individual with severe autism denied service at a Kelowna hair salon for not wearing mask

Kelowna Fire Department. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Farm animals safe after Kelowna barn catches fire

The fire was started after animals knocked over a heat lamp; the barn was consumed

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Kelowna fire crews quickly knock down blaze inside home

The fire was reported around 9:30 p.m. inside a suite attached large home

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Supt. Brian Hunter will be presenting first quarter RCMP stats to Penticton city council, tomorrow (April 21). (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)
South Okanagan RCMP superintendent wants to set up dedicated prolific offender task force

Supt. Brian Hunter plans to use the additional officers city council approved for the force

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

Parents are urged to be on alert after a potential child abduction attempt took place near Armstrong Elementary School Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (amsas/neden photo)
Possible child abduction attempt at North Okanagan elementary school prompts warning

A letter from the school’s principal urges parents to be on high alert

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COLUMN: Anti-maskers’ message misses the mark

Following COVID-19 restrictions now could determine just how happy our holidays are

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Interior Wildfire Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10-15 acres to house a rehab centre for injured and orphaned wildlife like deer and moose calves. (Black Press file photo)
Okanagan group look for property to house wildlife rehab centre

The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10 acres for injured/orphaned animals

Most Read