Highlights of January 22 Council meeting
Journey Home strategy update
Council heard an update on the progress of the Journey Home Task Force and work plan to develop Kelowna’s long-term plan to address homelessness. Dr. Alina Turner is leading the process and outlined to Council project deliverables and key dates. Council also agreed to add two representatives — Westbank First Nation and Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society — to the Task Force, bringing the total number of members to 23.
Carriage houses are fast becoming a popular housing choice in Kelowna. Council heard five carriage house applications and gave first reading to each of the proposed rezonings and forwarded the five separate projects to an upcoming public hearing. The properties are located at 3439 Moberly Road, 344 Christleton Ave, 1847 Maple St, 911 Pitcairn Ct and 5059 Treadgold Ct. Already in January, Council has forwarded an additional five carriage house rezoning requests to a future public hearing.
Town Centre Mall
The Town Centre Mall on Bernard Ave is getting a facelift. The existing canopy, stucco, and slate tile will be demolished and replaced with new signage, updated stucco cladding, and new brick cladding, as well as canvas awnings with signage and an open trellis canopy at the main entrance on Bernard Ave. Council approved the development permit for the renovation, which is meant to draw visitors to the east side of downtown and to elevate the design of the building to the standard of the recently completed Bernard Ave revitalization.
Rental Housing grants
Four rental housing projects will receive housing grants totaling $420,000, following Council’s approval. The 302 units are in four separate projects, and include housing for both seniors and students. The grants are applied against the Development Cost Charges for each project and for the developers to be eligible, they must sign a housing agreement to secure the rental dwellings for a minimum of 10 years.The rental housing grants help offset the cost of developing rental housing, as Kelowna has one of the lowest rental housing vacancy rates in Canada (0.2 per cent as of November 2017).
Council directed staff to bring forward an agreement for a pilot bikeshare service to start in spring 2018. Bike sharing allows people to rent a bike from one location and return it to one of many, pre-determined spots within the city. Staff recommended Dropbike as the operator for the pilot and are currently developing criteria for bikeshare haven locations in Kelowna.