Residents discuss a new affordable housing project in Lake Country with Society of Hope and EllisDon members Thursday night as part of an open house at Cedar Court. - Carli Berry/Capital News Residents discuss a new affordable housing project in Lake Country with Society of Hope and EllisDon members as part of an open house at Cedar Court. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Traffic, parking concerns voiced for Lake Country affordable housing complex

A public hearing for the project was held Tuesday night

A few concerns with parking and traffic were brought up during a public hearing Tuesday night for a Lake Country affordable housing project.

In September, the District of Lake Country and EllisDon created a non-binding agreement to work towards an affordable housing project that would see up to 200 affordable housing units on Jensen and Hill Roads.

The area on Jensen Road has a conceptual design for 109 units: 24 of which would be family townhomes, 85 apartment units for seniors as well as two acres of land dedicated for the district’s use.

A resident along Jensen Road expressed his concern with traffic in the area during the hearing, saying how a variance for less parking at the complex will not be adequate as there are already traffic concerns for that area.

“The road will definitely have to be wider,” he said.

A zoning amendment bylaw was brought forward to council in October, to rezone the property on Jenson Road from rural residential to medium density multiple housing. Council agreed to give first and second reading to the proposal.

RELATED: More affordable housing brought to Kelowna

The applicant plans to apply for a variance which would decrease the required number of parking stalls from 122 to 70 and increase bike parking stalls from 43 to 84, according to a report which was presented at the public hearing.

Coun. Penny Gambell also asked where visitors would park.

Director of infrastructure Greg Buchholz said the district is currently in the design process to improve Jensen Road, Beaver Lake Road and Bottom Wood Lake Road, to not only accommodate this new development but the new middle school as well, which will be located at the old Aspen Grove Golf course. Visitor parking would potentially be available along Jensen Road.

District planner Aaron Thibeault said a wider sidewalk would be constructed during the same time as the development.

The Society of Hope, which has numerous other affordable housing complexes around the Central Okanagan, has also partnered with the district and EllisDon to develop and manage the units.

READ MORE: First steps made for affordable housing developments in Lake Country

If approved, the complex will be located on the old Kangaroo Creek Farm property, as it plans to move out of Lake Country in 2020.

District staff support the project, which is contingent on funding from BC Housing.

There will also be two variances with the properties, to include a variance to allow up to six storeys instead of four, and for less parking and double the bike stalls.

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carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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