Kelowna City Council Approves Rezoning Applications to Develop 307 New Units

Kelowna City Council Approves Rezoning Applications to Develop 307 New Units
May 8, 2024

Kelowna City Council took a significant step towards increasing the city's housing stock by approving the initial stages of rezoning applications for five major development projects. These projects have the potential to create a total of 307 new units, with a strong focus on rental housing. However, before the land can be officially rezoned, each application requires three bylaw readings and formal adoption by the council. Here's a breakdown of the five major projects that received the green light:

1. Bernard Avenue (1531 Bernard Ave.)

  • Current Use: 12-unit independent retirement building operated by the Abbeyfield Society
  • Proposed Use: Six-storey, 51-unit rental apartment building
  • Developer: Novation Architecture
  • Approval Status: Unanimous approval by council

This project involves replacing an aging retirement facility with a modern apartment building offering long-term rentals. The proposal aligns with the Official Community Plan (OCP) designation for the area and boasts a convenient location on a transit corridor.

2. Martin Avenue & Gordon Drive (1085 Martin Ave. & 1444-1448 Gordon Dr.)

  • Current Use: Low-density residential
  • Proposed Use: Six-storey, 33-unit apartment building with a mix of one and two-bedroom units
  • Developer: Lime Architecture
  • Approval Status: Unanimous approval by council

This project seeks to introduce higher density housing in an area designated for future apartment development in the OCP. The location offers easy access to transit, parks, and commercial amenities.

3. Mills Road (163-165 Mills Rd.)

  • Current Use: Three single-family homes
  • Proposed Use: Eight three-storey buildings with 55 townhouse units with garages
  • Developer: Patrick Kerr Holdings (represented by Gravity Architecture)
  • Approval Status: Approved by council, with only Coun. Charlie Hodge opposed

This project sparked debate regarding the displacement of existing tenants in the single-family homes slated for demolition. While council acknowledged the potential loss of affordable housing, they also considered the future development plans for 55 new purpose-built rentals. Staff pointed out the upcoming Housing Supply Plan with relocation assistance policies for such situations.

4. Glenmore Drive (1232, 1240 & 1250 Glenmore Dr.)

  • Current Use: Low-density residential
  • Proposed Use: Future development with up to 56 rental units (mix of one, two, and three bedrooms)
  • Developer: City of Kelowna
  • Approval Status: Unanimous approval by council

The City itself submitted this application to facilitate future higher-density development on these properties. The OCP allows for apartment buildings up to six stories along transit corridors, and this project aligns with that policy.

5. Cara Glen Court (1402 Cara Glen Ct.)

  • Current Use: Townhouse development
  • Proposed Use: Two four-storey apartment buildings with 112 rental units (73 one-bedroom and 39 two-bedroom)
  • Developer: BlueGreen Architecture
  • Approval Status: Approved by council, with Coun. Gord Lovegrove opposed (concerns about lack of active transportation corridor) and Coun. Charlie Hodge reluctantly supportive (concerns about green and amenity space)

This project involves replacing townhouses with a larger apartment complex offering exclusively rental units. The developer incorporated sustainable features like a bike-sharing program and car share options, reducing the required parking spaces. The lack of dedicated green space and an active transportation corridor on Clifton Road raised concerns from some council members, but the project will be reviewed further at the development permit stage.

Overall Impact

These rezoning approvals represent a significant step towards addressing Kelowna's housing shortage, particularly for renters. With an estimated 219 new rental units potentially coming, these projects aim to provide more housing options for residents.

Source: KelownaNow

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