Politicians cooled down the topic of duplexes on Pineview Road, after a project was put on ice Monday to allow for long-term plans.
Penticton council postponed a vote on the rezoning application that would allow for a duplex project at 457 Pineview Rd., the first such project on that street despite a number of duplex zoned properties located to the rear of the property on Balsam Avenue.
Peter Stelser, a Pineview resident, said he had concerns about the proposal because of various reasons including the lack of back-lane access, meaning any recreational vehicles would have to be parked out front or along the side.
Those potential vehicles would add to the building structure, which would not match the character of the area which is predominantly single-family dwellings.
“If the rezoning of 457 Pineview goes through, then it will set a precedent for the neighbourhood,” he said, adding there was no need to densify the street.
Stelser also voiced concern about requirements for landscaping around duplexes, which have, in other areas of the city, he said, seen gravelling or paving throughout the entire yard. The slope of the property has a steep grade, he added, asking whether the city had assurances the landscaping would match that of the neighbourhood.
Coun. Judy Sentes said she appreciated resident concerns that this development application could be a “floodgate” for similar development, and asked staff whether there were requirements for developers to provide landscape plans.
Anthony Haddad, development services director, said the city has similar requirements for multi-family developments, but not for smaller residential projects.
Coun. John Vassilaki took issue with the idea that the proposed duplex would pave the way for future projects to come.
“Anybody has a right to apply for rezoning for a duplex. They do have a right. That doesn’t mean city council will allow it to happen. It has to be judged on its own merits,” he said.
Coun. Garry Litke said he sympathized with neighbours who had “valid” concerns.
“We have a lot of areas in the City of Penticton that are appropriate for duplexes or multi-family housing. This is not one of those areas,” he said, adding that the project would be looked upon as an “intrusion” to the area.
Rather than shoot down the application, Mayor Dan Ashton suggested the issue be revisited at some point in the future and suggesting postponement would allow the proponent and neighbours to “wait for a plan to come forward.”
The postponement was approved with only Litke opposed.