Letter: Mayor backs campaign contributor’s Kelowna housing project

The housing project will consist of nine units, each with three bedrooms. It will include 20 parking stalls, two of which are for guests.

To the editor:

In October 2014, Dave Krysko, president of Davara Holdings, appeared in a video endorsing Colin Basran for Kelowna mayor.

Last month (April 26, 2016) Kelowna city council approved the rezoning and construction of Krysko’s controversial rental housing development at 305 Homer [Rd. Kelowna].

According to the Elections BC website, Krysko made contributions to Basran’s campaign: $1,750 plus $1,592.50 from Krysko and Dustin Sargeant.

Basran spent $76,451.70 on his 2014 campaign. In 2014 there were no contribution limits. This may change in 2018 if recommendations from an all-party committee on local elections are accepted. For the next provincial election, the limit for a candidate will be $70,000.

On Nov. 13, 2015 a 304-signature petition opposing the development was delivered to the city clerk. According to B.C.’s Community Charter: “A petition to a council is deemed to be presented to council when it is filed with the corporate officer.”

The agenda for the Nov. 16, 2015 (9 a.m.) council meeting included: “Issues Arising from Correspondence & Community Concerns,” yet the petition wasn’t discussed.

Why not?

At the 1:30 p.m. meeting, 305 Homer was on the agenda. According to the city clerk, planning staff made reference to the petition during their presentation that summarized the application. Council discussed rezoning the property to RM3 – Low Density Multiple Housing zone, and that the rezoning bylaw be forwarded to a public hearing for further consideration.

Basran was absent, but voted for the project during the second, third and fourth (final) readings.

There is no provincial legislation that states a mayor or councillor must excuse himself/herself from voting if they have accepted campaign contributions from an individual or company that may come before council. Should there be? Often a mayor or councillor will abstain from voting even if there is a perceived conflict of interest. Sections 100 and 101 of the Community Charter discuss conflict of interest.

The housing project will consist of nine units, each with three bedrooms. It will include 20 parking stalls, two of which are for guests. Where will other guests park their cars—along Homer and Houghton roads?

The April 26 meeting agenda mentioned the possible adoption of other bylaws in order to rezone properties at 120 and 190 Homer. In the future, will this area resemble a giant parking lot?

The Rutland residents who signed the petition and others will have the opportunity to make their voices heard in the next municipal election.

If you live in a subdivision, how would you like to look across the street and see what resembles a 1970s era two-storey motel with 20 parking stalls?

The former folk-rocker known as Cat Stevens might ask: “But tell me, where will the children play?”

David Buckna, Kelowna

 

Name of Candidate: Colin Basran: Significant contributors ($100 or more)

http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/lepublished/100122965.pdf