City of Kelowna staff not fan of ‘2020’ tour proposal – Vernon Morning Star
A tower proposed to rise above Bertram Street in Kelowna to 35 stories will not gain the support of planners.
Known as “2020”, plans were submitted to the city in January for a 46-story structure attached to the Bernard Block Towers currently under construction by Mission Group. Although the developer cut 11 stories from this initial proposal, the building is still 23 stories taller than the current 12 story zoning for the area allows.
The aforementioned Bernard Block towers will all transcend the same height restriction. They will occupy 36, 26 and 18 floors when completed. And right across from 2020 on Bertram, BC Housing plans to build a 20 story building.
Nonetheless, staff recommend that city council not consider zoning change and official community plan change requests at its meeting on Monday, July 26.
Council should weigh in on this project much earlier in the process than it usually would as a test for a new bylaw proposed by city staff.
In May, the city’s planning department came to council suggesting a number of procedural changes to bring complex projects to council earlier. The changes would end up saving both city staff and developers the time and money to spend important work on an app if the board isn’t enthusiastic at first.
Current plans show that the 35-story tower has 276 units, a mix of sale and rental units with studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments. The 30 floors of residential space would be on top of six parking levels with 276 parking spaces. In its initial January request, the developer pitched the tower as providing downtown housing for the “missing link.”
“Future residents will likely include many people working in downtown Kelowna,” the request says. “This group will include the working poor and previously excluded. For the first time downtown employees who are support staff, delivery agents or a single mom making their way, they could call 2020 home. “
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