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90 unit development hearing

Penticton council voted on three motions regarding a property on Kinney Avenue, at a special meeting Monday night.

The votes were made after a long and heated public hearing on the fate of the privately owned property at 175 Kinney.

"I think the hearing made it clear, they were supportive of parkland and not having a use that was as intense as what was proposed," said Councillor Wes Hopkin.

Of the three proposed amendments put forward, two related to the Official Community Plan, OCP, and one related to re-zoning.

In the OCP matter, dealing with future land use, the council voted for an OCP change to medium density residential from parkland.

They voted against the specific zoning change and also the development permit restriction based on the development that came forward, which included townhomes and three four-storey apartment buildings.

"What it means is the way the zoning is right now that nothing can be built, but single family residential homes, but it also means the long term plan would consider some form of medium density residential, so the property owner isn't hamstrung when trying to sell the property," said Hopkin.

Most of those in attendance at the hearing live in Cherry Lane Towers, next door to the site.

Among their concerns were loss of parkland and increased traffic from the proposed development, impacting both them and students who attend nearby Parkway Elementary School.

"Thinking about adding 90 units with residents, visitors and service vehicle traffic is a picture that should alarm all parents of students at Parkway Elementary," said local resident David Worth. "And removing parkland from any city should not be taken lightly."

Others described the proposed change in zoning as a threat to their peace and contentment and worried about never getting green space back once it's gone.

While several worried about millions of dollars in lost values for their homes and questioned why the city was considering another development, when it's difficult to fill those already built.

In addition to the comments provided by the public, City Hall has received letters from residents opposing the proposed changes.

A letter from the Okanagan Skaha School District, stated should rezoning and development occur, any school capacity issues can be addressed through existing processes, and the district will work with the city of Penticton through the process, should the property go into development.

Lastly, it stated the district has no objections to the rezoning of the property.

According to Anthony Haddad, the city's director of development services, it is now up to the property owner to either develop the property, in line with the single family zoning, or apply to re-zone the property.

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