Penticton council narrowly approves rezoning for multi-family development on Wilson Street

JAMES MILLER | Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 5:15 pm

Penticton city council has approved a multi-family strata project for Wilson Street.

Following a public hearing and debate among councilors Tuesday, the project was approved in a split decision. 

The property at 2922 Wilson Street, which currently features one single-family house, will be redeveloped with one duplex building facing Wilson Street and one single-family dwelling and a duplex facing the lane.

There will be five units in total, each with a floor area of 1,486 square feet consisting of three bedrooms and enclosed garage.

At the public hearing, several neighbours aired concerns about a lack of parking, a congested laneway, garbage collections, potential flooding, reduced sunlight and lack of communication with the developer.

Henry Kasper, an 83-year-old resident of the neighbourhood, complained he did not receive a letter in the mail and that he wasn't receiving "adequate" answers from council.

"Why is planning so anxious to rezone things when they don't need to?," he asked.

Angela Cormano, speaking on behalf of her parents, provided council with a nine-page letter of objection, the main point being the homes will be too close to the property lines.

Developer Joe Walters said each unit will have a garage and a second vehicle will have room to park in the driveway. He said flooding concerns have been answered and that he spoke with three of the residents who believe the new property will be more aesthetically pleasing than the present home.

City planner Blake Laven said the bylaw requirement is being met with respect to parking. He agreed there's more driveway space at the front of the complex than in the lane, but noted, "They have a significant amount of green space on the project that they could squeeze in some extra parking if that was a requirement."

A motion by Coun. Campbell Watt to approve the rezoning but limit the project to four units lost by a 4-3 vote with Max Picton and Tarik Sayeed voting in support.

In turn, council voted 4-3 in favour of supporting the staff recommendation requiring a series of zoning amendments with Helena Konanz, Andre Martin, Judy Sentes and Mayor Andrew Jakubeit voting in favour.

"I see this as an enhancement to the area," Konanz said. "We're told constantly we need more densification so housing can become more affordable. This is a thoughtful design and it will work well in the neighbourhood."