The proposed mixed-use facility across Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) at 2169 Pandosy Street won’t be going up.
City council voted against issuing development and development variance permits for the project, citing issues with the parkade size, and additional height variances that the applicant asked for.
“I have a problem with the variance request for height change. The site coverage is bigger than what the variances allow. And I also have concerns like those I’ve heard from the opposition by the residents in the area,” Counc. Charlie Hodge said.
Many members of the community also came out to the Tuesday, June 23 public hearing to voice their concerns about the development.
The chair of the Kelowna South-Central Association of Neighbourhoods (KSAN) Erica Bell-Lowther said the project doesn’t go with the city’s plan to densify inner-city neighbourhoods.
“The construction of a five-storey commercial hotel with a rooftop deck is contrary to the city’s goal of densifying its core neighbourhoods in order to enable more people to live where they can walk to where they work as well as shopping services,” she said.
“Families lose what makes their neighbourhoods livable, such as green space, sunlight and safety. 12 families live along the narrow lane between (2169 Pandosy Street) and Richter. With hotel staff and guests accessing the hotel, they will have 24/7 traffic.”
Bell-Lowther pointed out that patients and emergency vehicles trying to access KGH will be impacted as extra vehicles will frequent the area due to the hotel as well as the health offices in the proposed facility. Other community members had the same concerns, adding that the modern design of the facility doesn’t go well with the rest of the neighbourhood.
Counc. Mohini Singh pointed out she’s unsure if a hotel in the area will actually serve the community and said she didn’t support the project moving forward.
“At the time that this was first proposed, there was a charitable component to it and it was something our city needed (then). It just seemed to serve our city with the services we required at the time,” she said.
“(Now) we do have JoeAnna’s House and secondly, I don’t know whether the hotel will be for tourists at the beach nearby or will it be for hospital visitors? But saying that, it is a good-looking building. Yes, I agree the area is going through some significant changes and we’ve heard the future also is for more change. But for me, this change is too dramatic.”