The property that a developer was seeking to partially rezone into a subdivision on Westminster Ave. (City of Penticton)

Developer postpones zoning bylaw request to address public feedback

The developer of 665 Westminster Ave. made the request after a public hearing on Nov. 16

Following a public hearing on Nov. 16, the developer behind a proposed subdivision on Westminster Avenue withdrew his proposal.

At its Nov. 17 meeting, the developer asked council for their proposal to be postponed until they could address the feedback they had received from neighbours at the public hearing.

Members of council praised the developer for their decision after they expressed intent to rework their proposal to better suit the neighbourhood.

The bylaw amendment went before council for the first reading at council on Nov. 3, before the public hearing on Nov. 16.

READ MORE: Penticton council to weigh allowing five-storey affordable housing development

The proposal before council was to allow rezoning a large chunk of 665 Westminster Ave. from Large Lot Residential to Bareland Strata Housing.

Members of council expressed their concern about the relative limited outreach, compared to the outreach done ahead of the consideration of allowing the Lakeside Resort to expand the hours of serving liquour which also went before council on Nov. 17.

The public was informed with letters mailed out to residents within 40 metres of the property.

“An 11-lot subdivision in a residential area being developed, that seems to be pretty limited on making communication out,” said Coun. Frank Regehr. “There obviously was a strong interest last night, and a lot of people did ultimately find out by word of mouth.”

Numerous neighbours came out to the public hearing opposed to the development.

“They are trying to jam in as many houses as possible. It’s a disservice to those of us who have lived there for years. Five or six home would be much better,” said one neighbour.

“Dave McCallum has lived on Westminster for 40 years and he said the development doesn’t meet the character of the neighbourhood.

“Do you want to be Kelowna,” he said. The other concern is the hill that has a blind spot where the new homes would have their driveways.

“When a vehicle pulled out it would be very dangerous and hard to see them when you are coming down the hill,” said another person.

Depending on the amount of changes to their proposal, when the developer returns before council, there may also be a second public hearing on the development.

Council approved the postponement unanimously.

With files from Monique Tamminga

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