A petition to ban carriage houses in a specific Penticton neighbourhood is going to be considered at a public hearing.
That’s thanks in large part to Coun. Judy Sentes, who seconded the public hearing motion and voted in support, even though she owns a home in the neighbourhood under discussion.
Penticton city council heard from representatives of Kendall Crescent, who brought a petition signed by 24 of 28 households in the neighbourhood, asking the city to change the zoning for the area to prevent any new carriage house applications. Sentes did not sign the petition.
The concern was sparked by an application for a large carriage house that failed last month. Peter Dewdney, representing the petition, asked council to consider what would happen to the neighbourhood if every property had a carriage house.
“You could turn this place into a slum. It’s something we don’t want to happen in Penticton, let alone here.”
Sentes seconded a motion to send the requested rezoning amendment to a public hearing on Oct. 2. She says that after seeking advice, city staff said she wasn’t required to recuse herself.
“There was no way in which I was going to receive a financial benefit from the question. Therefore, it was deemed that I was not in a conflict,” said Sentes.
Sentes also denied that the carriage house ban could have an effect on her property value, causing an indirect financial benefit.
“I would suggest that is an opinion, and I don’t share that opinion,” said Sentes. Sentes’ vote turned out to be a deciding factor. With Couns. Tarik Sayeed and Max Picton absent, the decision would have been tied 2-2 and failed had she recused herself.
“I don’t think we even need to go there. To single out one neighbourhood and allow them to do this is opening a can of worms,” said Coun. Andre Martin. Coun. Helena Konanz was also opposed, saying that any neighbourhood could come back with a similar petition, and the city needed densification to increase housing.
Both Konanz and Martin were opposed, however, with Sentes vote, along with Coun. Campbell Watt and Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, they moved the rezoning request to the next stage.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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