Proposed development on Kelowna farmland raises red flags

(DiStefano Jaud Architecture)(DiStefano Jaud Architecture)
(City of Kelowna)(City of Kelowna)
(City of Kelowna)(City of Kelowna)
(DiStefano Jaud Architecture)(DiStefano Jaud Architecture)

City of Kelowna staff will be urging mayor and council in the city’s next council meeting, to not pursue a development put forward for 2090 Byrns Road.

Proposed for the corner of Byrns Road and Benvoulin, it would include a Petro-Canada gas station, convenience store with liquor sales, car wash, and two general commercial retail buildings.

DiStefano Jaud Architecture Inc., the developer, is requesting a rezoning and OCP amendment to accommodate the commercial development.

“Our goal is to reinforce the attributes of this neighbourhood by creating a quality “edge” development to frame and reinforce the boundary to the existing farmlands,” reads the application to council.

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They say the design of the area would be “green”, including a landscaped transition to the adjacent properties. Also, they say the new project would provide 50 new, steady jobs.

“In the words of one supporter of this proposal, ‘it will clean up the corner’,” read the application to council.

So far, many comments on social media oppose the project.

The project would require the 2.14-acre area changed from A1 Agricultural zoning, to Community Commercial (Retail Liquor Sales) zoning something staff does not support.

Staff had several reasons for opposing this Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment.

They say other similar services are already very close by; several gas stations are within 1.2 kilometres, as well as the Guisachan Village Centre, Midtown Urban Centre and KLO corner.

“Staff do not see the community benefit in adding further services in an area that does not have the associated urban development and is predominately agricultural,” reads the report to council by the City’s planner specialist, Wesley Miles.

Also, staff said the Benvoulin area is considered an important agriculture corridor for both existing agricultural activity and heritage.

“Further development may lead to increased land speculation and development pressure on similar properties along Benvoulin Road.”

In the past, staff explained the land has been used to farm hay and is considered a viable piece of land for a variety of agricultural purposes.

Council will consider this matter at the Nov. 3 evening regular council meeting.

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Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

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