Kelowna council has voted to allow Troika Developments to refile an application to expand its Green Square developement in the Lower Mission area of Kelowna early.—Troika Developments

Kelowna council has voted to allow Troika Developments to refile an application to expand its Green Square developement in the Lower Mission area of Kelowna early.—Troika Developments

Kelowna developer gets a second chance

Council second guesses its late-night rejection of development proposal, lets developer refile early

A Kelowna developer will not have to wait the required six months to bring back a proposal to expand a housing development in the Lower Mission.

Kelowna city council originally rejected the proposal to add four residential buildings, ranging in height between five and six storeys, to the existing Green Square townhouse development on Mission Springs Drive in the early hours of Sept. 20. That followed a lengthy public hearing that began the evening before. Mayor Colin Basran asked his council Monday to waive the six-month waiting period the city normally requires following rejection of a development proposal.

“I think we all know this property is going to be developed at some point,” said Basran in presenting his motion in favour of letting Troika Developments resubmit a new proposal for Green Square early.

At the public hearing last month, which did not end until 3 a.m., Troika Developments asked for several variances for the project, including ones for height, the amount of parking and setbacks of the new residential buildings.

Noting concerns of area residents about parking, five of council’s nine members voted against sending the proposal to a public hearing. Councillors Luke Stack, Charlie Hodge, Maxine DeHart, Tracy Gray and Brad Sieben all voted against the proposal. On Monday, the five, along with rest of council, all voted in favour of letting the developer refile another application early.

But Stack said the developer will need to make substantive changes to issues such as parking in order to win his support going forward. He said he believes more than mere “tweaks” will be required.

On Monday, several councillors seemed to second guess themselves given the late hour of the original vote.

The public hearing schedule that night also included the controversial plan by Freedom’s Door to build an apartment building in Rutland for graduates of its substance and alcohol abuse recovery program. That portion alone ran from 6 p.m. to close to midnight and featured an overflow audience, many of whom spoke about the that proposal. So it was very late when council got around to dealing with the Green Square proposal, something noted by several of the councillors Monday.

Councillors justified waiving the six-month wait requirement saying there is a housing crisis in the city, the land is not on the outskirts of the city and it’s not unclear if it will be developed.

A second application for Green Square has not been refiled with the city yet and it’s not clear when that will happen.

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