Car wash developer asked to come up with a better design

Car wash put on hold

Kelowna city council has given a developer a chance to rework his design for a car wash on Highway 33 and Dougall Road in Rutland.

Staff had recommended council shoot down the proposal but instead, council decided to defer the application to give the applicant time to meet the city's urban centre streetscape and design guidelines.

Rezoning for the development was initially granted four years ago after going through a public hearing, but the developer never followed through with a development permit application until now.

Since initial approval, the developer made some changes, specifically, removal of a mixed use building in front of the car wash which he was unable to get financing for.

Planner Terry Barton said the second building was important because it provided the start of a "street wall" along Dougall Road.

That decision to eliminate or delay construction of the mixed-use building didn't sit well with many on council.

"I'm sorry about the financial aspect, but this is simply not good enough for Rutland," said Coun. Mohini Singh, who led the charge to defer a decision.

"I want to be able to give the applicant a chance at coming back with something better that fits the area better, fits within our guidelines and builds up the community."

Barton said the developer did agree to a letter of intent to, at some point build a second building, as it was acknowledged the importance of it.

"However, they weren't able to provide a definitive time frame, and certainly a letter of intent is not legally binding," said Barton.

"Staff continue to be concerned that the second mixed-use building may never be able to be achieved."

In voting to defer, many councillors agreed they could not rely on a letter of intent, and could only vote for what was in front of them today.

While the developer had indicated he was not prepared to guarantee the second mixed-use building, council is giving both he and the planning department another chance to find a workable solution.

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