Residents along Green Avenue and the surrounding area expressed their concerns in a public information session about the plan to put up apartment buildings on the former Kampe property.
The property, a large acreage owned by the late philanthropist, is being considered as the site for two six-storey apartment buildings.
As part of the proposal, the Official Community Plan would require amending to change the property’s current designation into a higher density urban residential property.
That change to the OCP had some residents concerned.
Jim Moring, who attended the meeting, expressed his frustration over the fact the OCP had just been revised and put in place in 2019. Morin had also spent time reaching out to his neighbours and encouraging them to fill out the city’s feedback forms to share their concerns.
“When the OCP was set up, there were thousands of comments from the public, there were at least a dozen advisors selected by the city, there was city council and city staff and everyone weighed in less than two years ago,” said Moring during the session. “It seems as residents we have to fight to protect what we thought was the protection the OCP offered us.”
“I wonder when Dave Kampe was alive, when this [OCP] was being formulated, why the city didn’t have the vision to say ‘When the Kampe property becomes available, we should rezone that RM3 and put up six-storey apartments.’”
The two buildings would provide 158 units, mixed between one, two and three-bedroom units, which would be rented at market rates. At six-storeys, the buildings are at the limit of what the city considers mid-rise buildings, but that height is still too much for some residents.
Other residents expressed concerns about the initial designs for the property, and how well it would fit in with the area and look to people passing by.
The environmental impact was another factor for many residents, from the proximity to the oxbow and riparian wetland nearby, to the amount of green space in the developers proposed draft design.
The ongoing issues of traffic along Green Avenue and Skaha Lake Road drew comments from residents, which city planner Steven Collyer said was being looked at as part of a traffic study in the area by the developer and in the city-wide transportation plan. It was also noted that street parking along Green Avenue would continue to be forbidden.
The current public engagement period ends on April 19, after which the feedback from the public and changes and suggestions from city staff will be provided to the developer. Once the developer makes any changes, it will go back to staff to be turned into a report to be given to council, which if given first reading would then go to a public hearing.
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