It was standing-room only as approximately 60 residents crowded into the lobby of West Kelowna council chambers Tuesday evening.
The majority of those in attendance had concerns regarding the district’s draft zoning bylaw and proposed amendments to the Official Community Plan.
The changes, which Coun. Rick de Jong earlier described as “a radical overhaul” to the existing zoning bylaw, will be the first since the zoning bylaw—inherited from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan—was last substantially reviewed in 2000.
Many of the residents in attendance Tuesday night were concerned about the proposed P1 zoning for properties along Westside Cays Canal, which runs adjacent to Pritchard Drive.
The district received 19 submissions regarding the zoning of the canal. The majority of those letters indicated P1 zoning does not adequately accommodate the purpose and usage of the waterway.
“A site specific zoning for this private waterway should be applied to more accurately accommodate its true purpose and usage,” wrote Jeffrey Shardelow, president of the Westside Cays Waterway Association.
According to Nancy Henderson, general manager of development services, the draft zoning bylaw isn’t proposing any changes—the canal has been zoned P1 since at least 1981.
Henderson recommended several options to council to ease the concerns of those living along the canal.
During its regular meeting after the public hearing, council voted to include consideration of an amendment to the zoning of the canal to specifically permit the construction of docks for adjacent properties as part of the scope of the scheduled 2014 Waterfront Zoning Review.
“I’m very optimistic with what you have (decided),” said Pritchard Drive property owner Richard Lang.
“It will go a long way to reducing the fears of the membership and owners.”
Dale Pilling of D.E. Pilling & Assoc. Ltd. Consulting Engineers expressed several concerns regarding proposed zoning bylaw changes.
First, Pilling said the draft bylaw proposes the multi-family site known as Treasureview Estates on Shannon Lake Road be designated as a low density multiple residential zone (R3), despite the fact council went through a lengthy process to approve R3A zoning for the area.
He added the owners spent over $250,000 constructing a left-turn lane at the entrance to the development, curb, gutter and sidewalk fronting the property and a pedestrian bridge over McDougall Creek in advance of developing the property.
“R3 eliminates all the uses you approved,” said Pilling.
“To have that shown on there as R3 is ridiculous.”
He added the draft zoning bylaw has incorrectly labelled several other properties as R3, including Terravita apartment complex, an area on Shannon Lake Golf Course that has an apartment building on it and a property on Saddleback Way, which Westville homes plans to develop a multi-family site on.
“Whoever did up the zoning plan, as far as the R3 zone is concerned, obviously never walked around Westbank,” said Pilling.
“Why don’t we get the thing right in the first place and have the zone match what’s actually on the site.”
Grant Maddock was supportive of changes included in the draft zoning bylaw, especially the smaller lots the zoning bylaw would permit in the R1 zone.
“I very much support smaller lots,” said Maddock.
“I think there’s a good opportunity for some parcels in Lakeview (Heights), and all over West Kelowna, to be subdivided.”
A total of 18 speakers took the opportunity to add their input at the public hearing.
If council opts to make any change in use or density during third reading, a second public hearing will be scheduled.
“I feel the second public hearing may be appropriate,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.