Wrong place for industrial

The way has been paved for a new mixed-use commercial building on St. Paul Street in downtown Kelowna.

City council Monday unanimously approved a rezoning application to remove the designation of a piece of property from industrial to commercial use.

The property is in the heart of the downtown area, surrounded by four other mixed-use developments.

"Industrial doesn't make any sense in this particular location. A C7 (commercial zone) is much more appropriate for the location and future development for the area," said Coun. Gail Given.

The developer is proposing to build a six-storey retail-commercial building on the property, which is currently being used as a parking lot.

The proposal is for ground-floor commercial with five floors of office space above.

"Further design details and the overall project will be explored during the development permit phase," said planner Adam Cseke.

While plans for the development are not complete, current plans would require several variances, including parking which calls for just 13 stalls.

Council was only permitted to speak to the rezoning itself, not any potential variances which may be proposed.

That prompted some concern from Coun. Charlie Hodge, who said he may have some issues with what is being asked for.

Coun. Ryan Donn also stated a concern that a six-storey building may have only 13 parking stalls.

However, speaking to the matter at hand, Coun. Luke Stack said without knowing what kind of development was going up, just asking for the rezoning to a commercial zone is an obvious yes.

Council will see the firm development details once all the plans are in place.

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