West Kelowna council’s support of rezoning a piece of Glenrosa property to allow for compact housing has local residents upset.
Council gave third reading to a zoning bylaw amendment to change the two hectare, 3700 Inverness Rd. property, which is adjacent to Powers Creek, from rural (R3) to compact housing (RC1) at its Dec. 11 meeting.
The area is surrounded by rural zoned property to the south and west and single family residences to the north.
Since the proposal was brought to the district earlier this year, a main concern has been the increased density at the end of a dead-end road.
“The whole idea of putting higher density RC1 development at the end of a dead-end road, I am still not confident with,” said Coun. Rick de Jong at the district’s last council meeting.
Glenrosa resident Lynne Gledhill recently wrote to the Capital News to express her frustration with council’s decision.
She said the increased traffic that will come with the compact housing development could be dangerous in emergency situations.
“Emergency vehicles have a difficult time already getting in to help because of the existing traffic we have now,” wrote Gledhill.
“In the event of another evacuation similar to what occurred during the Glenrosa fire in 2009, (it) could bring about a tragic disaster.”
But the majority of council suggested there are currently enough accesses to Webber Road through roads that branch off of Dunbarton Road.
Coun. Duane Ophus added lower density, “sprawling single family subdivisions” are difficult to service.
“I think this is the way to go forward with a lot of our community,” said Ophus.
“To me, it’s primarily an issue of effective land use. I think that’s really what we have to address.”
Mayor Doug Findlater said he is typically in favour of compact housing, but not in this scenario.
“Normally I’m in favour of RC1; I think it’s where we have to go, generally speaking,” said Findlater.
“But it’s a single access road in there. It’ll put nearly double the density than R1 would be. I have no problem with R1, it’s consistent with the neighbourhood around there, but that density doesn’t seem to work.”
Council gave third reading to the zoning bylaw amendments by a vote of four to three.
Council also directed staff to schedule the bylaw amendment for final consideration pending several conditions. A new reserve fund, called the Glenrosa Neighbourhood Improvement Fund, will also be created—to which the developer will contribute $45,000.