On Monday, Kelowna City Council voted to rezone 1405 St. Paul Street from urban centre commercial to central business commercial.
Staff recommending that council approve the rezoning application that could make way for a proposed 35-storey mixed-use building at 1405 St. Paul St.
“This makes sense for the height and best use. It is a change that speaks to how our urban centre has changed,” said Councillor Brad Sieben. However, Councillor Sieben said he was looking forward to hearing what the applicant would say about a relocation plan for the existing tenants.
City planner, Trista Atwood added that the application was consistent with the Official Community Plan and supports the city’s objective of directing medium and high-density residential developments to urban centres.
Councillor Luke Stack said the zoning was appropriate. He reminisced to when the city was planning for the downtown area and St. Paul Street was proposed to be a good area for these types of developments.
Although council was not considering development permits or development variances at this time, Kerkhoff Construction submitted an application in February 2021 that detailing the building.
According to the application, the mixed-use building would rest on a five-storey podium, include 341 residential units, a “bike lounge”, a pool, gym and yoga centre.
The building would also include a plaza with commercial patios that would front onto Doyle Avenue and be designed to relate to the proposed UBCO campus project.
“I believe this is the appropriate site for this zoning. Not far from there we’re going to have this absolutely fantastic university right in the heart of our city,” said Councillor Mohini Singh.
However, Councillor Singh voiced some concern about the number of high-rise buildings that had been approved recently.
“I would just like to know where we are at. Once we approve them, we can't un-approve them. I just hope we never go back and question how we approved so many of them, I just think we need to be more cautious,” stated Singh.
Councillors Gail Given and Loyal Woolridge and Mayor Colin Basran all voiced their favour for this rezoning as well.
Councillor Charlie Hodge voted in favour of the rezoning but chose to reserve his comments and questions about height for when the development permit comes forward.
In June 2021, the applicant submitted a development variance application requesting that the maximum allowable height be increased from 19-storeys to 35-storeys.
The application was also requesting consideration of a setback above 16 metres for any “property line abutting a street from 3.0 m required to 2.4 m proposed.”
Not date was set to hear a staff presentation on the development permits but it could be anticipated to become before council sometime this summer.