Penticton city council has given a unanimous go-ahead to start public consultations on a potential 1,500-multifamily-unit project.
“It’s the start of a long process of community engagement, starting off with the OCP,” said Mayor Julius Bloomfield. “We look forward to that engagement, we need to hear what the public want. It is, I believe, an exciting proposal that will help fulfill some of our needs for housing over the next 10 years.”
The project would be located at 1704 Government St., across from the hospital. The site was most recently a manufactured home and trailer factory but has been defunct for a number of years.
Between 1,200 and 1,500 multifamily apartments, split between strata and rentals, are currently proposed. There is also commercial space proposed for the site.
The units would be spread between 11 buildings in the current draft plan, with heights ranging from six storeys up to 12.
“A council priority is the creation of attainable and affordable housing and this proposal would increase Penticton’s housing stock significantly,” said Blake Laven, Penticton’s director of development services. “The next step, if council supports it, is a public engagement process on the proposed OCP change.”
The largest barrier is currently getting the property changed from its current industrial designation to a mixed-use designation.
That will require an Official Community Plan change and public consultation.
Coun. Helena Konanz noted the project would take a large industrial property out of the city’s available industrial land inventory, and requested information on the city’s industrial needs be considered as part of the engagement process.
If the project is approved, and once the design is finalized, it is expected to be built in phases over several years.
The number of units proposed for the project makes it the single largest project in years, with the 700-unit North Wiltse Block development and the planned 600-unit BC Housing project on Skaha Lake Road behind it.
Staff will be working on a schedule and locations to gather feedback. Feedback will also be gathered through the city’s shapeyourcitypenticton.ca website where detailed information will be available.
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