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Kelowna council approves permits for 16-unit 'family-friendly' townhouse project

“Some very large positivites.”

That’s what Kelowna mayor Tom Dyas had to say about a proposed townhouse development that was approved Monday afternoon.

Kelowna-based developer Blue Vision Design Inc. received council’s support for a development permit that will see a 16-unit townhouse project go up at 605 Fraser Road, which is just off Leathead Road.

When the property was rezoned in 2022, city council and planning staff applauded the family-friendly housing types.

The four three-storey buildings will have four two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom homes.

There would be 34 parking stalls provided in private garages while each unit would have a private balcony, ground level yards and access to common amenity space and on-site community gardens.

“One of the things I’d like to say about this is it's very nice to see 16 units with 34 parking spaces,” mayor Dyas added.

“It's also nice to see 12 three-bedroom units with the accessibility on all areas to make it blend into the neighbourhood a little bit more.”

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

Coun. Ron Cannan wondered why the application took so long to issue development permits.

The application was originally submitted in August 2020.

City staff explained that the application started off as an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment, which required a public hearing, and required rezoning under the old zoning bylaw and previous OCP.

Staff said there were issues with public notification which took awhile to get through the process. The city’s new zoning bylaw also gave the developer an opportunity to develop under the new MF – Multi-family zone.

Coun. Gord Lovegrove had concerns about low scores on the OCP design guidelines checklist for the project.

“Yes, we all want more housing … I’m finding it really tough on the trade off here,” said coun. Lovegrove.

City staff said they had spent several years working with the developer and they had gotten to a point to where they “were happy to achieve some bigger wins on this file, particularly form and character, relocating that drive aisle, ensuring that the communal space has been adequately planned.”

City staff said they were also able to reach an agreement with the neighbouring property to the north to protect and maintain an older tree that slightly borders both properties.

Council voted unanimously in favour of issuing the development permits.

Next steps will see a building permit issued for the project.

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