West Kelowna  

Safety issues prompt West Kelowna council to deny Sundance Drive development

Developer told to try again

The owner of a property on West Kelowna's Sundance Drive was denied a development permit for a 57-unit affordable housing project.

At a previous meeting in the spring, council agreed to postpone consideration of the application to give the developer a chance to work with staff to address a number of safety concerns.

While the revised proposal did address some of the concerns raised previously by council, staff indicated the new proposal didn't go far enough and also introduced several new variances.

Staff recommended council deny the application.

The proposed townhouse development included 20 units fronting Sundance Drive and 37 units fronting Ensign Quay Lane and the Ensign Lane extension.

But, while council noted the obvious need for housing in the community, especially affordable housing, it wasn't able to support the application.

In moving the recommendation to deny the application and close the file, Coun. Rick de Jong noted the property will at some point be developed, but the question is what will that development look like.

"I do believe we were pretty clear last time this was before us what we were looking for. I don't believe there was enough movement," said de Jong.

"This looks similar to what we saw before."

De Jong suggested the developer re-work the development and come back with something that has a lot less variances.

Coun. Jason Friesen asked the developer not to go away but instead take council's comments to heart and work with staff to come up with a plan that staff can support.

Staff has come back with a lot of safety concerns and safety is not something this council has ever put on the back burner for the sake of development," said Friesen.

"I think it will be developed, but let's make sure it's safe."

"Affordable housing can't come at the expense of safety," added Coun. Stephen Johnston.

Johnston said if the development has to be redesigned with fewer units and every unit ends up costing $40,000 more, "then that's what it has to be."

With the denial, the developer is not able to resubmit new plans for six months.

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