Letter: Zoning changes could affect neighbourhoods

Kelowna letter-writer says the public needs to speak up at a Feb. 5 hearing at city hall

To the editor:

On Feb. 5 Kelowna City Council will be voting on “General Housekeeping Amendments” to amend zoning bylaws. Among the many changes will be the adding of supportive housing and temporary shelter services (including possibly modular housing) as an allowed use in industrial and commercial zones, and also in P2 zoned areas, which primarily consist of educational, recreational, and religious uses.

Kelowna residents should be aware that most of these P2 properties are located in primarily residential areas of the city, so if council passes this rezoning without opposition, you may soon find your neighbourhood with modular housing for the homeless. When the properties are rezoned, all the city will have to do is take out it’s own building permit and proceed with constructing temporary shelter services in your neighbourhood without a hearing.

People in Kelowna need to be made aware that P2 properties in their own neighbourhood may be considered by the city for temporary homeless housing, so it is important that opinions get aired at the Feb. 5 meeting before these changes proceed.

After this meeting, the city may not need to consult with residents before building.

A few examples of P2 zoned properties are the old Martin Elementary School, The Hollywood Rd. Education Centre, Walrod Park, and the Mission Hall property.

I think it would be important to have a full community discussion before rezoning all of these P2 properties for the potential of homeless housing in residential neighbourhoods.

Tom Witt, Kelowna

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