To the editor:
The Monaco attempt at affordable homes downtown at Doyle and St. Paul is commendable, but the developer should proceed with the building bylaws that were in place when they bought the land for future development and profit.
The requested variance uses too much horizontal space, sucking both air and light from the neighbourhood.
The massive floor plate shadows encroach on existing properties and their bylaw setbacks.
The developers proposed design butchers sight lines allowing for poor urban design.
Kelowna doesn’t need boxes built. What it does need is people friendly home spaces in harmony with their surroundings.
If this builder wants a variance, let them build to the sky while fitting the existing vertical plane allowances set out in well structured bylaws.
Views for their affordable home plans will remain intact while leaving space for their neighbours and future developments to share the common air space and views.
Most will agree there are enough empty land parcels in the area to be developed. One site shouldn’t consume all the potential. The builder wants to maximize their land and construction costs creating a profit,
That’s fine, however, don’t expect current and future residents to suffer the air and light deficiency along with increased traffic and parking loads without sharing some of the costs.
Nowhere did I read where the developer offered to add, it was all profit driven needs that were addressed. Currently, there is a shortfall of parking space in the more recent buildings, so let’s not repeat these errors and reverse this unfortunate precedent.
Making sufficient parking a priority and available so that the neighbourhood can breath and have reasonable traffic flow is imperative. Poor traffic flow only limits business and reduces residential quality of life.
Cawston was recently re-opened after a refreshing upgrade that is not friendly to vehicle traffic at Richter. Traffic of all sorts including pedestrian and wheeled people powered varieties now run the refreshed corridor.
If we look back in time at The Madison construction, the back lane was shut off for far too long creating a back lane helter skelter that affected the neighbourhood.
This back lane can’t be shut off, it is already an antiquated mish mash that has seen the city planners hide in shame.
Cawston is a single lane design and shouldn’t have the back lane construction traffic dumped into it. If the developer still wants to squeeze their towers together for greater profit, they should be tasked to fund a public roadway between their towers. This would also allow the developer the chance to creatively open the back lane to possibly a commercial lane level use where in the past the lane space is simply ignored.
This lane space and public roadway could begin to bring foot traffic from Ellis through the mid-block library walkway to the building.
The new public roadway would initially aid in reducing the effect of construction traffic and in the future alleviate traffic load on the already narrow and unruly back lane that is currently filled with dumpsters and business overflow.
The better option to increased floor plate areas is to allow the towers to build within current incline bylaws while reaching as high into the sky as economics and geometry allows. Regardless, the back lane needs air and light space, the vertical variance demeans the back lane.
A needle doesn’t block much sunshine and might be a great city centre focal point, the developer could leverage some marketing and sales from such a variance. We have a Knox Mountain to view. Let’s not construct one in the city core.