Letter: Minimum standards shouldn’t be the bar for developers

Maybe we need more people on council who will work to make all of Kelowna a more attractive city.

To the editor:

On Monday, Kelowna city council reluctantly approved a development permit for what many saw as an unattractive and impractical (as far as parking goes) row house development in Rutland.

Some suggested that, while they didn’t like the fact there was no on-street parking and the tandem parking provided did not work (whatever tandem parking is), they still voted in favour of the project because it met minimum city standards.

Coun. Mohini Singh argued that, in this time in Kelowna’s history, the minimum was not good enough. We should be asking for the maximum. Still, she voted in favour.

Coun. Gail Given countered by saying a higher standard would make for less affordable housing.

This may be true but there was no attempt to find out. No one suggested the permit be deferred until more information could be provided about the cost of, at the very least, providing a greater range of exterior paint options.

When it came to the vote, Coun. Maxine DeHart said she was willing to be the lone wolf and was going to vote against it. City staff said the pictures they were providing for Council were not the best. So, DeHart asked, why not provide those pictures before council made its decision?

Coun. Charlie Hodge joined with DeHart in voting no, saying nothing in the development permit “turns my crank.”

The development permit was approved by a 7-2 vote.

The development permit process gives council control over the form and character of a building.

Is it only because this was in Rutland that the majority of council supported what they obviously disliked?

Good on DeHart for standing up for better quality. And good on Hodge for supporting her.

Maybe we need more people on council who will work to make all of Kelowna a more attractive city.

Rob Munro

Kelowna

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