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Neighbourhood vibe valued: Kelowna duplex development dumped

Council denied proposed rezoning to allow a two-lot subdivision at 662 Berk Court
Conceptual rendering of duplex development proposed for 662 Berk Court. (Photo contributed)

The potential for eight residences on a quiet cul-de-sac was too much for Kelowna council to approve at a public hearing Feb. 14.

Councillors denied a proposed rezoning to allow a two-lot subdivision at 662 Berk Court, located in the North Mission-Crawford area.

The developer was intending to build two duplexes totalling four units on the property. However, the rezoning would allow secondary suites with the potential for eight residences.

Council was also concerned, as were neighbours at the hearing, about increased traffic, potential parking issues, and whether mature trees on the property would be saved.

Coun. Charlie Hodge, who voted against the rezoning, said he was torn, pointing out that the city needs housing, but was concerned about the potential for eight residences under the rezoning.

“This council has created this zone, and now we’ve found the flaw in it.”

The issues were also too much for Mayor Tom Dyas.

“My personal feeling is that at this point in time without the clarity we’re giving, it disrupts the neighbourhood,” he said.

In supporting the application, Coun. Loyal Wooldridge noted that council may want to revisit its zoning bylaw.

“This is going to be the challenge as we wrestle with building more in neighbourhoods,” he added.

Many neighbours who spoke against the development said it would change the ‘vibe’ of their community, something Coun. Rick Webber called a ‘weak argument.’

“We don’t know that, the people that move in might be nice, you might be really glad they moved in. They might have a dog and a kid, but it’s a prejudice.”

During another public hearing later in the evening, council did approve similar rezoning for a property at 4371 Lakeshore Road. That application offered a covenant limiting a proposed duplex development to four units.

Coun. Wooldridge then put forth a motion directing staff to bring forward a report regarding the implications associated with the possible elimination of secondary suites within the RU4 zone.

“I think it’s only fair to applicants to understand where council is coming from.”

The motion was passed by council.

READ MORE: Managing public open mic would be difficult: Kelowna council


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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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