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Owners of luxury Kelowna bed and breakfast given the okay to increase number of guests

On Tuesday, Kelowna council gave the property owner of 380 Lochview Road the okay to expand the number of sleeping units in their bed and breakfast to allow up to 16 guests.

The 38 acre property has been operating as a four-unit B&B since March 2022.

After council’s decision, Château Okanagan will be able to increase the number of sleeping units to eight, with up to two guests per sleeping unit. The main house would have six units and the other two units would be located in an accessory building.

“We find that some guests that are coming are seeking experience that's not yet available. Kelowna has seen some recent developments in the tourist accommodation sector … but there are limited options in the boutique sector,” said Birte Decloux, with Urban Planning Options, who represented the home owners.

<who> Photo Credit: Château Okanagan

Only one reservation will be permitted at any given time, which means only one group will be able to book the property.

The B&B is described as an unique, boutique luxury rental option for people visiting Kelowna.

Other supplemental uses include banquet and beverage services, meeting rooms, tennis courts, a boat deck, swimming pool, spa, sauna, steam room, billiards room, theatre and a winery.

A neighbour of the property addressed council saying he believed the property, which he referred to as a resort hotel, was taking advantage of a tax break as a residential property.

He had issues with the “severely compromised” parkland being offered up by the property owner and the amount of people that would be visiting the area, pointing out several issues of a film production that was on site last summer. He pointed to noise, an increase in traffic and an alleged incident of trespassing.

<who> Photo Credit: Birte Decloux

Decloux called the incident with the film production a "learning experience," and the trespassing incident was something the property owners were not interested in allowing to happen again.

Another person living in the area said he had no issues with noise and saw no issue with increasing the number of sleeping units to eight.

“I support the lodging proposal submitted by Château Okanagan. This initiative is exactly what is needed to promote the Okanagan valley as a desirable tourism destination,” said another member of the public, who said he has been involved in the winery sector for 20 years.

The owner of Bighorn Lodge in Revelstoke supported the proposal, saying it would bring a “huge” benefit to Kelowna’s tourism industry.

Councillor Ron Cannan wondered if any consideration was given to turning the B&B into a legitimate hotel.

Dean Strachan, planning and development manager, said the property would require “significant” modifications, however, it could become a hotel in the future after operating as a B&B to see how it fits into the community.

In addition, Strachan addressed questions raised by coun. Luke Stack. Strachan said taxation was determined on the value of the property, which fell into BC Assessment’s jurisdiction. He confirmed that an operator had to be on site but it was not required to be the principal owner.

Ultimately, Kelowna City Council voted 8-0 to give second and third readings to the text amendment. Next steps will see the amendment formally adopted at a future meeting.

Coun. Maxine DeHart excused herself from the vote due to a conflict of interest given her employment at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre.

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