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West Kelowna mayor urges need for more housing as council cancels carriage house

‘We have an opportunity to help an individual or family that can use a roof over their heads’
West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom. (Black Press file photo)

Despite the urging of the mayor not to, West Kelowna council turned down an application to allow additional housing for an Elliot Road property.

It already has a legal secondary suite, and the owners want to add a carriage home. However, zoning for the area only allows one or the other. Council does have the authority to amend zoning bylaws.

“There is a need for more housing in our community, particularly for rental properties,” said Mayor Gord Milsom. “Here we have an opportunity to help an individual or family that can use a roof over their heads. To me, it just makes sense for approval.”

READ MORE: Too many ‘what ifs’ for townhouse development, says West Kelowna council

Coun. Stephen Johnston pointed out that approving the rezoning contravenes the bylaw, and any change should apply across the city, not just for one application.

“This sets a huge precedent. It says that anyone that can support that, how do you then say no to the next person?”

Coun. Garrett Millsap agreed.

“We can’t be doing these on a one-off basis,” he said.

Speaking in favour of the rezoning, Coun. Jason Friesen argued council often takes these matters on a case-by-case basis.

“We can’t say if we’re not going to adopt it for the entire city we can’t adopt it here. We do that all the time. That’s we have variances and zoning amendments.”

Coun. Carol Zanon was also in favour of the rezoning and said she expects that, over time, the area will see more multi-dwelling residences in the future.

“I can’t see why somebody who is just a little bit ahead of the curve here should not be supported in their endeavour.”

Council voted to deny the application with Milsom, Friesen and Zanon opposed.

READ MORE: Flip-flop on meeting clock for West Kelowna council


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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