Infill ASAP: City introduces program to accelerate supply and permitting

June 26, 2024

News Release

The City of Kelowna is launching its new infill fast-track program to speed up development approvals and get more homes built for our existing and growing population.

More than 1,300 MF1-zoned multi-family lots in the City's Core Area are now eligible for 'fast-track' development approvals with four to six units permitted per property. Complete Development and Building Permit applications for eligible lots can be processed and approved within 10 business days when working with a pre-approved, standardized, multi-plex design - the new process significantly reduces the approval timeline which used to take from two to four months. 

"Over time, the fast-track program has the potential to deliver up to 7,000 new homes and help us meet the demand for housing in our city, especially for more affordable and diverse housing options,” said James Moore, Housing Policy & Programs Department Manager. “Recent zoning changes mean that homeowners have more options for what they can build on their lots, which can provide more options for home seekers, but also more options for homeowners to accommodate their own needs on their current property.”

Currently, property owners and developers can choose from four pre-approved infill designs – three of these were winners of the City’s 2022 Infill Challenge. Future phases of the infill fast-track program will see more design options added.  

“Simplifying development processes to allow more homes – in more places – faster than before can help address our housing shortage, improve the livability and vibrancy of neighbourhoods, and support the City's goals of reducing urban sprawl and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Moore. “While this is not the only solution, and all levels of government need to keep collaborating on housing, these actions can have a significant impact on tackling some of our community’s biggest challenges.”

Increasing the supply of infill housing - suites, carriage houses, and multiplexes - is consistent with many of the housing goals established in the 2040 Official Community Plan as well as residents' desire to focus growth near existing infrastructure, services, and amenities.

Development of the program was funded in part by the $31.5 million Housing Accelerator Fund grant provided by the Government of Canada and administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

For more information on the infill fast-track program, eligibility criteria, and application process, visit the City's website at


  • The City of Kelowna has established a progressive approach to infill housing, including allowing secondary suites and carriage houses in some areas of the City as far back as the 1990s. 
  • In 2016, City of Kelowna staff hosted an Infill Design Challenge Competition to promote and encourage new forms of infill development on laneway access urban lots, with a second Challenge in 2023 to generate innovative new ideas for infill housing that enhance affordability, diversity, resiliency, inclusivity, and livability in Kelowna’s housing system.
  • In 2022, the City of Kelowna adopted the 2040 Official Community Plan which called for a significant portion of new growth to be achieved through Core Area infill. 
  • In 2023, the provincial government’s Homes for People Plan introduced new legislation to address B.C.’s housing shortage, requiring cities to update local bylaws by June 2024 to allow more infill to be built.
  • By May 2024, the City of Kelowna completed updates to the Zoning Bylaw, Official Community Plan, and supporting bylaws – making it among the first in B.C. to fully action the provincial infill legislation.
  • Expanding infill development benefits Kelowna because:
    • It allows more responsible management of space while supporting better housing diversity and affordability.
    • Infill provides more housing options that meet the diverse needs of community members who live and work in Kelowna. 
    • Single-detached homes are the most expensive form of housing and the cost is out of reach for most residents – and not everyone wants to live in an apartment.
    • Infill adds growth where it’s supported by transit, amenities, and infrastructure to help keep servicing costs and taxes lower.

The City’s infill fast-track program is launching with the four pre-approved multi-plex designs shown. Three of these were winners of the City’s 2022 Infill Design Challenge 2.0, an open design competition for infill development. The design competition set out to generate innovative new ideas for infill housing that enhance affordability, diversity, resiliency, inclusivity and livability in Kelowna’s Housing System. The competition was judged by a multi-disciplinary panel of experts.